Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield slashes dividend
Shopping centre owner Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield has withdrawn its guidance and will halve its dividend amid rising uncertainty about the duration and impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Restrictions imposed to prevent the spread of the virus have limited the operations of the group in several markets, including France, Germany, the US and UK.
Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield was planning to pay out a dividend of €10.80 per share following a stellar performance in 2019, but the rapid evolution of the global crisis has forced the company to review its proposal.
So instead of offering €10.80 per share, URW will pay an interim cash dividend of €5.40 per share on 26 March to satisfy its REIT dividend distribution obligations. The final dividend of €5.40 has been cancelled to protect the group’s liquidity position.
Additionally, the shopping centre operator will provide an update on its guidance once it has more clarity about the duration, severity and consequences of the current situation.
According to a statement released last Thursday, the group has €10.2 billion in cash, as well as undrawn credit lines, to cover all expected funding needs under a worst case scenario.
Non-staff expenses and non-essential capital expenditure have been reduced to prepare the group for the future.
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