Clarkson pulls dividend, warns on first-half profit
Shipping services firm Clarkson pulled its dividend and said it expected first half profits to take a hit due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Clarkson on Friday said it would 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,” it said in a statement.
The company said the medium-term outlook for the shipping markets remained favourable, driven by improving supply/demand dynamics and regulatory changes, but warned virus would “inevitably impact” in the first half of 2020.
It added that the broking division continued to trade effectively, its research unit continued to provide “valuable insights and much needed data and analytics to clients”, but the financial operation was experiencing challenges from a lack of primary activity due to the extensive impact on financial markets. Support continued to service its customer base “through their short-term operational challenges”.