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Inchcape Suspends Dividend; To Cut Pays Due To Covid-19 Pandemic

Inchcape Plc (INCH.L), a multi-brand automotive distributor and retailer, announced Tuesday its Board no longer recommends the payment of the previously announced final dividend of 17.9p per ordinary share to preserve cash AMID cOVID-19.

The company further said its Board/ senior management are taking a 20% reduction in fees/ salary during the second quarter to help support the business.

The company said its trading in a large number of markets has been impacted by closures or significantly lower business activity due to coronavirus or Covid-19 crisis.

Meanwhile, 14 markets are still operational, albeit at much reduced levels, including Australia, Ethiopia and Hong Kong. Singapore was operational throughout the first quarter, but a one month lockdown commenced on April 7.

Inchcape has a strong balance sheet, having ended 2019 in a net cash position, aided by strategic retail disposals. The company has liquidity of 600 million pounds as of now.

The company is exploring other debt options to further increase liquidity and flexibility, including the Coronavirus Corporate Financing Facility launched by the UK Government.

The Board on March 20 had put on hold its guidance.

The Company will publish its trading update on May 21.

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