How did all this affect your sales?
Janssen: “The new initiatives of some customers did not fully compensate for the ones that were put on hold, so our business did shrink: we experienced a 7% drop in turnover in April, a drop of around 10% in May and we expect to close June at about the same level. More than a reduction in billable hours, the number of software licenses for SAP or Microsoft, for example, has dropped significantly – as there have been hardly any new projects launched in the past months. To make up for that loss, we introduced temporary unemployment: our consultants take one day off per week. That almost corresponds to the actual drop in activity, so we felt like this is the right thing to do. All in all, we manage to resist the crisis. It is difficult, however, to forecast where we will be by the end of 2020.”
Priem: “Security is a low-margin business as our income is mainly based on billable hours, which dropped dramatically. 850 G4S employees, for example, ensure security at Brussels Airport. That part of our business came to an immediate standstill, just like our security guard services for the events sector, non-food retail stores. Our alarm systems business sputtered too, as the on-site installation of alarm systems became impossible. Last but not least, the G4S Academy also had to shut down. Only our safety solutions business was left largely untouched. Apart from the income loss, we had to invest big in protective gear and disinfection gel in the first weeks – that was an unexpected extra cost of EUR 275K by the end of May.”