Update on COVID-19
27 March 2020
Update on COVID-19
Clarkson PLC ("the Company" or "Clarksons"), the world's leading provider of integrated shipping services, today announces that in light of the current increased uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, the Board has decided to withdraw the resolution regarding the final dividend from the Annual General Meeting ("AGM") and defer the decision on the amount and timing of the dividend until later in the year once the impact of COVID-19 on maritime markets and Clarksons' business becomes clearer. The Board deems this decision as conservative and prudent, enabling Clarksons to conserve current cash reserves, address any potential short-term disruptions in the maritime industry and protect shareholder value. Clarksons' belief in a progressive dividend policy, which has delivered 16 years of increased dividend, remains firmly intact albeit that in these quite exceptional times it has decided to take this temporary measure.
As announced in the Preliminary Results on 9 March 2020, Clarksons entered 2020 with a robust balance sheet and an improved forward order book from 2019. We believe that the medium-term outlook for the shipping markets remains favourable, driven by improving supply/demand dynamics and regulatory changes, albeit that the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus will inevitably impact the Company's performance in the first half of 2020. Currently the Broking division continues to trade effectively across all market verticals, Research continues to provide valuable insights and much needed data and analytics to clients, Financial is currently experiencing challenges from a lack of primary activity due to the extensive impact on financial markets, and Support is continuing servicing its extensive customer base through their short-term operational challenges.
During this crisis, the number one priority of Clarksons is the health and wellbeing of its employees around the world. Initially this impacted our offices in the Far East, however now we have most global employees successfully working from home, helping our clients with their needs, and thus enabling global trade in these exceptional circumstances.
The arrangements for this year's AGM, which will be held at 12.00 noon on 6 May 2020, have changed. Clarksons will hold its AGM electronically by audiocast to protect shareholders and meet government guidance on social interaction. Full details will be provided in the Notice of AGM. A more detailed trading update will be given at the time of the AGM.
For further information:
Andi Case, Chief Executive Officer
Jeff Woyda, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer
Tel: +44(0) 20 7334 0000
Tel: +44(0)20 3757 4983 / 4994
About Clarkson PLC
Clarkson PLC is the world's leading provider of integrated shipping services and investment banking capabilities to the shipping and offshore markets, facilitating global trade.
Founded in 1852, Clarksons offers its diverse and growing client base an unrivalled range of shipbroking services, sector research, on-hand logistical support and full investment banking capabilities in all key shipping and offshore sectors.
The Company has delivered 16 years of consecutive dividend growth. The highly cash generative nature of the business, supported by a strong balance sheet, has enabled Clarksons to continue to invest to position the business to capitalise on the upturn in its markets.
Clarksons is listed on the main market of the London Stock Exchange under the ticker CKN and is a member of the FTSE 250 Index.
For more information, visit www.clarksons.com.
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