Uni Select Inc - President and CEO, Brent Windom
President and CEO, Brent Windom
Source: YouTube (Auto Plus Auto Parts)
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  • Uni-Select (TSX:UNS) is scaling back its operations to focus on essential services, and has halved its global workforce
  • The changes come after the implementation of COVID-19-related shutdowns in Canada, the US and the UK
  • 33 per cent of Uni-Select’s sites have been closed, while 28 per cent are on reduced hours
  • The company’s Board of Directors have also had a remuneration cut of 25 per cent
  • Uni-Select (UNS) is currently down 6.65 per cent to C$4.77, with a market cap of $202.19 million

Uni-Select (TSX:UNS) is scaling back its operations to focus on essential services, and has halved its global workforce.

The Quebec-based company employs more than 6,000 people across Canada, the US and the UK. With over 430 corporate stores, Uni-Select distributes automotive refinish and industrial coatings, as well as related products.

As COVID-19 continues its global rampage, governments in the company’s key markets have implemented increasingly strict states of emergency and business shutdowns.

Subsequently, Uni-Select says that the new measures are having “a material impact” on its bottom line. While some of the company’s operations have been designated as essential services, Uni-Select has been left with no choice but to scale back.

Brent Windom, President and CEO of Uni-Select, says the company’s first priority is the health, safety and welfare of its employees and customers.

“As such, we have been strictly adhering to health authorities and government guidelines, with stringent protocols for social distancing and hygiene precautions, as well as telecommuting, whenever possible.

“We have a responsibility to provide essential services during these difficult times, but we nonetheless expect demand to experience a marked slowdown given travel restrictions and stay at home guidelines,” he added.

To date, Uni-Select has laid off approximately 50 per cent of its employee base, with 33 per cent of its operations under temporary closure. 28 per cent of the company’s sites are operating with reduced hours, and 7 per cent are operating with activities limited to essential services only.

In addition, work hours have been reduced for all remaining employees by 20 per cent. Uni-Select’s Board of Directors has also been subject to a pay reduction of 25 per cent, effective from January 1 until June 30, 2020.

“These are certainly exceptional times which command exceptional measures but the automotive aftermarket has been resilient in the past and we are convinced it won’t be any different this time,” concluded Windom.

Uni-Select also noted that the virus, even in its current state, may have a significant impact on the company’s financial standing, as well as that of its customers, suppliers and partners.

Uni-Select (UNS) is currently down 6.65 per cent to C$4.77 at 10:23am EST.

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