Berkeley suspends shareholder payout over coronavirus

Grant Prior 4 years ago
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Berkeley Group has postponed a planned £455m payout to shareholders “until there is greater clarity of operational impact of coronavirus on UK economic activity.”

In a trading statement today Berkeley said: “Today’s announcement is made in the context of the current increased macro uncertainty, which has been uniquely impacted by the global spread of coronavirus.

“While there has been no noticeable  impact on Berkeley’s business to date, the ultimate impact on UK business is unknown. 

“There is no recent historic precedent and for this reason it is absolutely right for any responsible business to approach the next six months with a reduced risk appetite and heightened sense of caution.”

The increased payout to shareholders was announced last month.

Berkeley said: “The Board is keen to stress that it currently still intends to make the enhanced returns but will reassess this in our full year results announcement in June, by when it is indicated the effect of coronavirus will be more measurable and certain.”

Berkeley reassured the City that it is on track to make market expectations for this financial year and its long term pre-tax profit target of £3.3bn in six years ending 30 April 2025.

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