Persimmon Plc - Covid-19, Capital Return Plan and AGM Updates
Covid-19, Capital Return Plan and AGM Updates
Responding to the Covid-19 Virus
Since the outbreak of the virus in the
Balance Sheet Conservatism and Capital Return Plan Update
Persimmon entered this period of uncertainty with a robust operational performance in the year to date and a strong forward order book. Despite this encouraging start to the financial year we are preparing for a significant delay in the timing of legal completions, a rise in cancellation rates and a material slowdown in new sales, the extent and duration of which is uncertain.
In light of the current uncertainty caused by the Covid-19 virus and its operational impact on
Persimmon entered the current year with a strong balance sheet including cash holdings of
The decisions taken by the Board today in no way diminishes its confidence in the long-term outlook for the Company and the strength of the through-the-cycle model, which is set up to withstand reasonable downside scenarios and to take advantage of opportunities as they arise. The Board remains committed to evaluating an ordinary course payment of 110p per share to shareholders this year, should economic and business disruption abate in the next several months. Whilst the Board is disappointed in cancelling the 125p per share payment of surplus capital, the Board does not believe it would be prudent at this time to regard this cash as surplus, and the cancellation reflects a change in the Board's assessment of the Company's financial prospects this year and the broader economic risk profile, in line with the stated policy.
At this stage, given the level of continued uncertainty around economic and business activity, it is not possible to provide financial guidance for the FY20 financial year.
Annual General Meeting Update
The Company's AGM is due to be held on Wednesday
The well-being of our shareholders is vitally important to us and we recommend that shareholders adhere to the current instructions to stay at home. To enable shareholders to listen to the proceedings of the meeting from their homes, the proceedings will be available by a webcast. There will be an opportunity for shareholders to ask the Board of Directors questions on the formal business of the meeting and further details will be on our website in due course.
The Company will ensure that the meeting adheres to the Government's and
We encourage shareholders to submit their proxies as early as possible. Further information on how shareholders can submit their proxies can be found in the Notice of 2020 Annual General Meeting (the "Notice") and is available on our website. Please note the deadline for submitting proxies will be
In view of the Company's decision to postpone the proposed 110p per share payment, the Board announces its intention to withdraw Resolution 2 as set out in the Notice, dated
A trading update will be provided by the Company in advance of its AGM.
"Our primary concern is the safety and well-being of our customers, staff, contractors and suppliers and we have today set out a number of further measures throughout the business to protect them for the duration of the pandemic. We will listen carefully to the Government's future advice as the situation develops and will make further adjustments where necessary.
"The Group's long-term strategy of minimising financial risk and maintaining capital discipline over the long term through the housing cycle, ensures that we are well placed as we enter this period of uncertainty. Whilst the impacts of this pandemic go beyond the normal cyclical nature of the housing market, the Group's high quality land holdings, significant liquidity and strong balance sheet will allow us to work through these challenges and emerge in a strong position for the benefit of all our stakeholders."
This announcement contains inside information. The person responsible for arranging the release of this announcement on behalf of the Group is
For further information please contact:
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Tel: +44 (0) 20 7638 9571 (on
Tel: +44 (0) 1904 642199 (thereafter)
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7638 9571
This information is provided by RNS, the news service of the
Quick facts: Persimmon
Market Cap: £5.82 billion
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