Galliford Try suspends dividend due to outbreak
Construction group Galliford Try cancelled its dividend on Tuesday due to the coronavirus outbreak, as it said some of its sites remain open.
The company said it is working with the NHS and others to assist them to increase capacity "to meet the current challenges and immediate needs".
In line with government advice on construction works, it has risk-assessed all of its construction sites and modified or curtailed activities to ensure no work is undertaken if it cannot fully comply with hygiene and social distancing guidelines or if workers cannot travel safely to work.
"Sites that remain operating do so under the strictest of parameters, as set out by the Construction Leadership Council, in conjunction with our own rigorous risk assessments," it said. "In addition, where specific client instructions have been received, we are carefully managing temporary closure of sites to leave them in a safe state whilst they are closed."
Galliford said it has already taken a number of actions to manage costs and conserve cash. In addition, the business expects to make use of the Government Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and other measures announced by the government in response to the pandemic. It has implemented furloughing of personnel "where appropriate", it said.
The company said the scale and duration of disruption and the impact on its supply chain is not yet clear.
"For this reason, it is too early to quantify the potential impact of Covid-19 on revenue and operating profit, and hence it is not possible at the present time to provide guidance for our financial years ending 30 June 2020 and 30 June 2021."
Galliford insisted that it remains a "well-capitalised" business with no debt or bank covenants. Nevertheless, it is "prudent" to cancel payment of the 1p per share interim dividend announced on 12 March, it said.
Chief executive Bill Hocking said: "These are extremely challenging times and our upmost priority remains the health and safety of our employees and the wider community. We are a well-capitalised business, taking all necessary steps through the present circumstances to ensure that we are well placed to support economic recovery."