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IT firm Kainos to repay furloughed staff wages to government

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Kainos’ headquarters at Lower Crescent in south Belfast

Kainos’ headquarters at Lower Crescent in south Belfast

Kainos’ headquarters at Lower Crescent in south Belfast

Northern Ireland IT firm Kainos has said it will repay the furlough wages of 131 members of staff after trading well through the pandemic.

The plc, which employs 1,700 people in total, said it had availed of the Job Retention Scheme as part of precautionary cost savings at the outset of the pandemic.

But in a trading update, the company said: “Despite the impacts of Covid-19, trading in the period has been strong and we expect revenue to be well ahead and adjusted profit to be substantially ahead of current consensus forecasts for the full year ending March 31 2021.

“In light of our performance, we have withdrawn from the scheme and will be repaying the UK Government for all previously claimed support payments.

“As well as returning all payments, we are pleased to confirm that we have ensured employment for all our people during this period.”

The trading update added: “During the early stages of Covid-19, we successfully adapted to the changing business environment and we remain confident that we will be able to respond to any future challenges in the wider macro-economic backdrop.

“However, we maintain our view that it is too early to predict the duration or the severity of the COVID-19 economic disruption and any impact it will have on our customers.”

In May, the company reported revenue of £178.8m in the year to the end of March, while adjusted pre-tax profits were also up 9% to £25.5m. In April, it announced that its three top bosses, including chief executive Brendan Mooney, were going without salary and bonuses for six months in another move to cut costs.

Kainos had previously announced a delay in its plan to move to new offices on the site of the former Movie House cinema on Dublin Road in Belfast. It's currently based at Upper Crescent off Botanic Avenue.

High street retailers Primark and Games Workshop have also said they will repay furloughed money paid to some of its staff.

Furniture giant IKEA has also said it will repay furloughed money to governments around the world where it has claimed under the scheme.

However, it did not claim under the UK’s furlough scheme even though it did furlough workers - instead covering workers' 90% salaries itself.

Belfast Telegraph