Reach expects Covid-19 impact but leaves dividend unchanged
Reach said it expected the coronavirus crisis to hit advertising revenue, print sales and events but the publisher of the Mirror and Express newspapers left its dividend intact for now.
The company said trading in the first 12 weeks of its financial year was in line with expectations but that it was too early to estimate the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
"Advertising revenue deferrals may be expected given its discretionary nature, print circulation will be impacted by footfall reductions and closures of outlets and events delays or cancellation may be necessary," Reach said in a trading update. "There is currently no change to the announced 2019 full year dividend."
The company's shares fell 4.2% to 92.91p at 08:38 GMT.
Reach said it had moved as many people as possible to remote working and had reviewed continuity plans for production, printing and distribution. It has widened contact with customers through apps and newsletters and increased home delivery of printed publications.
Reach said it had a "robust" balance sheet and adequate liquidity. It had £20.4m at the end of 2019 and had agreed revolving bank facilities of £65m.
The company's annual meeting is scheduled for 7 May but the company said it was keeping plans under review. A number of companies have restricted access to their AGMs or opted to conduct meetings online.