LIGHTiNG IS an essential service for the functioning of society and its manufacture, distribution and sale should continue during the coronavirus crisis, a leading representative body has claimed.
The Global Lighting Association is urging authorities to ensure that there is sustained access to lighting products during these challenging times by categorising lighting as an essential product and ensuring lighting products can continue to be manufactured, supplied and sold.
‘Lighting is a vital part of life,’ says the GLA, ‘and availability of lighting products and services is essential, especially in the current situation’.
‘As the world confronts the evolving spread of COVID-19, governments are implementing strict measures to help limit the spread of the virus. In doing so they have to balance health and safety goals with the need for continued delivery of essential goods and services.
‘Light is needed to functionally fulfil our daily duties at home, as well as in the places that are tasked with addressing and alleviating the current crisis, such as emergency hospitals, care centres, shops and distribution centres.
‘Furthermore – and very importantly – in stressful times light can help comfort people, make them feel safe and contribute to their well-being’.
The GLA believes that access to lighting products should not become a topic of concern during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The statement is a response to growing fears that in a tightening of the so-called lockdown restrictions, designed to slow the progress of the coronavirus outbreak, the manufacturing of products such as lighting equipment could be curtailed.
The GLA concluded: ’We urge authorities to classify lighting products as essential products in the context of any measures that would otherwise limit manufacturing, supply or sale of products’.
In other developments, evidence is emerging of the extent of the financial disruption and upheaval that the coronavirus crisis is wreaking on the major suppliers.
In recent days, both Signify and Osram have announced, in effect, that their financial projections for 2020 are out the window.
Signify has suspended its official outlook and withdrawn its dividend proposal.
In a statement to investors, it said: ‘Given the high level of global uncertainty and the very limited visibility on how this crisis might unfold, Signify has decided to suspend its financial outlook for 2020 as announced on January 31, 2020.
‘In addition, Signify has decided to withdraw the proposal to pay a dividend of EUR 1.35 per share to ensure resilience during this period of market uncertainty and to further strengthen the company’s financial position.
‘Once market conditions have stabilised, Signify will revisit its capital allocation to shareholders’.
Osram said that it doesn’t expect to achieve its corporate targets this year.
‘Given the unprecedented operational and financial challenges posed by the spread of Covid-19 and the uncertain developments in the coming weeks, the economic impact of the pandemic on Osram however, can neither be adequately determined nor reliably quantified at this time’.
The company said the increasing number of factory shutdowns by its customers and the disruption of global supply chains, are expected to have a significant impact on the world economy and in particular on the global automotive industry.
Osram is the world’s largest supplier of lighting for cars.