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Countryside Properties withdraws guidance, suspends dividend

By Michele Maatouk

Date: Wednesday 25 Mar 2020

(Sharecast News) - Countryside Properties withdrew its guidance for the current financial year and suspended its dividend on Wednesday due to the Covid-19 outbreak.
The company said it had decided to close and suspend all construction works on its sites, while sales offices have also been closed.

"While these measures will inevitably impact the group's financial performance, it is unclear how long they will remain in place or the extent to which they will impact the group. As a result, the group is withdrawing financial guidance for the current financial year and is suspending dividend payments until further notice."

Countryside insisted it has a "strong" balance sheet, with available cash of ?110m and a good liquidity position. It also has a ?300m revolving credit facility in place until May 2023, provided by a syndicate of four banks.

"Given the current uncertainty around Covid-19, the board has taken the prudent decision to commence discussions in respect of additional financing facilities, should they be required, and we will update on these discussions in due course."

Countryside said that up until mid-March, it continued to trade in-line with its expectations, with improving visitor levels and strong reservation rates and a strong order book for affordable and private rented sector homes.


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