We have taken steps to ensure that the risk of coronavirus is closely monitored and carefully managed. This includes securing availability with our suppliers and identifying alternative sourcing options, in case they are required.

As you would expect, we are working hard to reduce the risk of infection for our colleagues and the people we do business with.

We remain fully operational and ready to serve our customers.

Protecting our colleagues and customers

The health and safety of our employees and the people we do business with is our top priority.

The coronavirus situation is changing daily, and we are asking all colleagues to follow the advice of the relevant national health authority, supported with clear guidelines and instructions from management.

As always, we are working closely with our customers to keep their businesses moving.

Where our customers have put additional measures in place, all colleagues working on those customer sites will conform with those requirements.

We have already cancelled all travel to affected areas and have confirmed that none of our employees have travelled on business to China in the past three months.

We are maintaining awareness of hygiene measures within the business and limiting business travel and large, face-to-face meetings.

Any colleagues that have been exposed to people with the virus or who have travelled to high-risk areas recently are working in quarantine until they receive a negative test result.

All colleagues feeling unwell are going into self-quarantine for a period of at least two weeks.

The Group’s business continuity team is meeting daily to monitor the impact on our people, customers and supply chains.

Protecting the supply of products and services

Rubix is Europe’s largest distributor of industrial products and services.For many of our leading suppliers, we are their largest European customer. This enables us to secure supply in a way that many others cannot.

We will use the collective technical expertise, knowledge and experience of 8,500 colleagues across 22 European countries to identify alternatives if there are supply issues.

We are finding that demand for masks, coveralls, goggles and disposable gloves has reached unprecedented levels. Typically, these items are produced in markets – China and some EU countries – where exports have been restricted to manage the public health risk.

We are also finding that demand for hand sanitiser has also increased rapidly. Although production is not concentrated in the same way as other hygiene products, lead times have been extended.

We are using our market leading position to help manage the risk of price increases and to try to protect supply by building stock in each country.