Micro Focus scraps dividend amidst coronavirus fears

Micro Focus scraps dividend amidst coronavirus fears

Micro Focus International plc has announced that it no longer intends to propose a final dividend at its forthcoming AGM on 25 March due to ‘increased macro uncertainty, which has been uniquely impacted by the global spread of COVID-19’.  Prior to the announcement shareholders were expected to receive a final dividend of 58.33 cents per share, subject to approval at the AGM.

Although there has been no material impact as of yet and the majority of the firm’s revenues ‘are contractual and reoccurring in nature’, the firm has made the decision in preparation for any disruptions caused by the ever-evolving pandemic.

Micro focus has stated;

‘This decision not to pay a final dividend in no way alters the Board's view that the group remains appropriately capitalised, with robust profits underpinned by recurring strong cash flows. Micro Focus has cash on hand of in excess of $600 million at 29 February 2020. However, in the current extraordinary climate the board believes it is prudent to use every tool at its disposal to maximise the group's resilience in the face of exogenous shocks and to minimise any real or perceived financial risks arising from the current crisis. ‘

In line with the Chartered Governance Institute’s latest guidelines, the company has encouraged shareholders to nominate the Chair as proxy rather than attend the AGM in person. 

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