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Businesses do their bit as coronavirus pandemic pulls community together

Burberry has re-purposed its coat factory in Castleford, UK to produce personal protection equipment (PPE)

Burberry Group PLC -
Many companies are under intense financial pressure

People working in the NHS and other essential services have rightly been the focus of huge praise during the coronavirus outbreak, but at a time when most are under intense financial pressure companies are doing their bit too.

Today, for example, Burberry Group PLC (LON:BRBY) announced it has re-purposed its coat factory in Castleford, UK to produce personal protection equipment (PPE) for medical and care workers.

Burberry has been hit hard by coronavirus first in China and now across Europe and the US, and said it is also sourcing surgical masks through its supply chain and has donated more than 100,000 pieces of PPE to the NHS and charities so far.

In spite of its troubles, the FTSE 100 luxury goods specialist is still worth more than £5bn so you could argue it can afford it, but it sends an important message that companies can play a vital role in helping the country pull through the pandemic.

Below we highlight businesses across a whole range of sectors that are making an extra effort although there are sure to be many we have missed.

Pharmaceuticals

Silence Therapeutics PLC (LON:SLN) has repurposed equipment in its Berlin site to produce critical reagents for COVID-19 PCR diagnostic test kits.

The equipment is for TIB Molbio, a German firm based in Berlin, to increase its capacity to produce test kits significantly.

Ergomed PLC (LON:ERG) is helping to organise two clinical studies into two possible treatments for patient with severe coronavirus symptoms at the heart of the pandemic in Italy.

The studies are being conducted at the Humanitas Research Hospitals in Bergamo and Milan and the Papa Giovanni XXIII Hospital, also in Bergamo.

Logistics

Online distribution specialist Clipper Logistics PLC (LON:CLG) has added almost 500,000 square feet of warehousing space plus associated handling and transportation where relevant, to support eight customers' additional requirements during the current coronavirus pandemic. Clipper is also providing logistics support to both new and existing customers.

Tesco (LON:TSCO) has increased delivery slot to help those customers most at risk during the lockdown. There are now 1 million delivery slots, around 400,000 more than six weeks ago, with the number set to rise to 1.2mln shortly.

PPE/Equipment supply

Posh welly and clothes group Joules Ltd (LON:JOUL) has used its supply chain to provide local health services in Leicestershire with personal protective equipment. So far it has donated approximately 50,000 face masks.

Retailer Kingfisher PLC (LON:KGF) provided five trucks worth of eyewear and masks to the NHS, plus said it had ordered 3mln face masks that it expects to arrive towards the end of April for donation to the health authorities in the UK, France, Poland and Romania.

Engineer Senior PLC (LON:SNR) said it had been providing many thousands of NHS Trust approved face visors to UK hospitals, medical practices and care homes since March.

This month, it increased manufacturing capacity to 10,000 pieces per day in response to the overwhelming demand.

Outside of the UK, Shanta Gold PLC (LON:SHG) has pledged a donation of US$43mln-worth of medical equipment to the government of Tanzania to help fight the virus, in addition to ongoing deployment of investments in community health, infrastructure, education and livelihood programmes.

Mixer specialist Fever-Tree PLC (LON:FEVR) is supporting the 'Salute the NHS' initiative to provide one million meals to NHS frontline staff over the next three months. So far it has donated sixty thousand soft drinks to be included in their meal packs.

Media

Pearson PLC (LON:PSON) today announced the upcoming launch of 'UK Learns' - an online portal which contains free, digital, skills-based courses to help re-skill and broaden employability prospects for employees who have been impacted by COVID-19.

Iconic Labs PLC (LON:ICON) and ad agency M&C Saatchi PLC (LON:SAA) meanwhile are working together on the launch of 'Find the Truth. Isolate the Lies', a myth-busting campaign designed to expose lies about coronavirus, through the Infotagion platform.

Infotagion, Iconic’s coronavirus fact-checking site, has hit 2mln readers and it will lead the direction, distribution and amplification of the campaign across traditional and social media.

Quick facts: Burberry Group PLC

Price: 1590.5 GBX

LSE:BRBY
Market: LSE
Market Cap: £6.44 billion
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