EPP still considering interim dividend


EPP still considering interim dividend

Published Date: 2020-09-21 | Source: Stephen Gunnion | Author: Stephen Gunnion

EPP still considering interim dividend

The Polish real estate group says interim distributable income will be up to two-thirds lower as it remains focused on retaining maximum liquidity.

EPP's shares fell over 9% on Friday after it warned that distributable income for the first half of its financial year would be up to two-thirds down from last year. And it's still deciding whether to pay an interim dividend or not.

In a trading statement, the real estate company, previously called Echo Polska Properties, said distributable income per share for the six months to end-June would be 57-66% lower than the 5.8 euro cents reported last year. In a pre-close update at the end of June, it guided investors to expect full-year earnings of between 4c and 5c per share, down from 7.49c last year, as a result of Covid-19.

In June, EPP said the Polish government's fast and effective response to Covid-19 had resulted in a reopening of the economy sooner than expected. While retail footfall levels at its shopping centres across the country had continued to improve steadily since they were reopened at the beginning of May, it said it would take some time for retail turnovers to return to pre-pandemic levels. Lockdown restrictions hadn't affected its office portfolio.

Although performance metrics and the projected path to recovery were encouraging, the group said the need to provide significant financial support to tenants and the loss of revenue meant it had to focus on ways to strengthen its balance sheet and to retain maximum liquidity. It withdrew its 5.82c dividend for the six months to end-December as it assessed the impact of the pandemic on its operations.

EPP will release its interim results on 29 September. Its shares closed 9.4% down at R6.52 on Friday.

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