SMART Metering Systems, the Glasgow-based company that installs and manages smart meters, is halting all but emergency field work as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.

The move includes temporarily shelving the installation of smart meters until further notice, it said in a statement to the London Stock Exchange.

It said it will continue to provide emergency field support and related activities and will maintain its extensive IT infrastructure which supports its existing meter and data asset base and the index-linked annual recurring revenues generated by its assets.

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The firm has closed all its offices and warehouses except for activities required to support emergency field activity and IT infrastructure with a majority of the workforce continuing to work and support customers from home.

The company earlier revealed it had conditionally sold a minority of its meter assets for a total gross cash consideration of £291 million to funds managed by Equitix Investment Management.

It said in its update that, on completion, the net cash consideration of £282m will go towards the immediate repayment of amounts under the group’s existing £420m debt facility and result in a positive net cash position.

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It also means the firm will have retained index-linked annual recurring revenues of £73.2m as at February 29 2020, “all of which remains unaffected by the temporary measures being taken”.

The company said: “The Covid-19 situation is evolving rapidly and whilst the impact on the short-term financial performance of the business cannot be accurately quantified at this time, the combination of the group’s robust balance sheet, high-quality, index-linked recurring revenue streams and a contracted order book of two million smart meters ensures that the longer-term impact on the group will be minimal.”

SMS shares were up 7%, or 40p at 611p.