1PM awaits more clarity on Covid-19 impact before deciding on dividend
1PM, a specialist provider of finance facilities to UK SMEs, said on Thursday that it will defer a decision on its final dividend until the market situation and effects of the coronavirus outbreak are clearer.
"As with most businesses operating in the non-bank, specialist lending sector, the immediate impact of adherence to the government's advice is that multiple borrowers are requesting payment delays, holidays, or similar forbearance as they adjust to substantially no footfall or sales revenue in their own businesses," it said.
The company said it has always dealt with borrowers on a case-by-case basis and is adhering to this principle as it handles a large volume of in-bound requests for support. "Payment holidays and the rescheduling of lease and loan agreements, as well as further advances within existing facilities to invoice finance clients, are being agreed on a case by case basis where justified," it said.
1pm said it plans to continue supporting "credit-worthy" customers and businesses to ensure they have the opportunity to resume normal trading in the future.
"1pm reiterates that it remains open for new business and will continue to lend, albeit on temporarily tightened and restricted credit criteria," it said.
The group said it has been trading in line with market expectations for the current financial year through to the end of the third quarter, 29 February 2020. However, given the pandemic and the UK lockdown, it is not possible to quantify the impact on its performance in the final quarter.
"Furthermore, given the uncertainty over how long these conditions will prevail, the company is no longer in a position to provide guidance on expectations for its financial performance in the next financial year," it said.
As a result, 1PM said will defer a decision on the amount and timing of any final dividend until there is more clarity on the market situation and the impact of Covid-19.