Wollongong skydiving company Experience Co Limited has announced to the Australian sharemarket that it will suspend all operations indefinitely as the COVID-19 crisis worsens.
Skydiving and other tourism operations have stopped, a number of permanent staff have been made redundant, and contractors have been stood down.
In an update to shareholders on Monday the company said the pandemic was continuing "to be a significant and unknown quantity for the tourism industry, and domestic and global economies".
"After reviewing Australian and NZ government advice with regards to non-essential services and social distancing all EXP operations have been suspended indefinitely," the announcement said.
"This will be reviewed on a weekly basis.
"The safety of the broader community, our customers, staff members and contractor workforce is our number one priority."
The public listed company started out in Wollongong more than 20 years ago, and was taken public in 2015 with the aim to become Australia's biggest adventure tourism company.
However, in recent months bushfires and the coronavirus have hit hard, adding to financial pressures already facing the company, which posted a loss of $48 million last year.
The EXP group told the ASX that it had been "pro-active on mitigating the impacts of this event" by improving its balance sheet by asset sell-offs and "accelerating and extending the operating cost saving initiatives" fallged earlier this year.
"Included in this has been the staggered reduction of operating services, continued restructure of our operations, reduction and cessation of third-party consultants, cancellation of all non-essential travel and capital expenditure and permanent staff stand-down," the update said.
"The Group has not issued earnings guidance for FY20 and given the significant uncertainty in market conditions will be refraining from issuing any earnings guidance in the near term."
CEO John O'Sullivan said the business was facing an unprecedented time.
"We will continue to be proactive and mitigate the impact of these events on how we manage our business day to day," he said.
"I am pleased to have a supportive board and committed workforce working in a measured approach to actioning contingency plans and navigating the business through these most uncertain of times."
He also said he safety of "the community, our workforce and customers across activities remains paramount".
"We have proactively enacted this shut down to ensure that we comply emerging government and regulatory operating guidelines," he said.
"While we cannot forecast with any level of certainty the duration nor recovery profile from this pandemic, our unwavering strategy is to minimise short term cash outflows and ensure we have a viable business and balance sheet at such times that conditions improve."
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