Portfolio

FDM Group reports resilience, cancels final dividend

By Josh White

Date: Friday 27 Mar 2020

FDM Group reports resilience, cancels final dividend

(Sharecast News) - FDM Group updated the market in light of the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic on Friday, confirming that it would no longer be recommending a final dividend for the 2019 financial year.
The FTSE 250 professional services firm had said in its preliminary results on 11 March that it was intending to recommend a distribution of 18.5p per share, which would have carried a total cost of ?20.2m and been payable on 12 June.

It said its financial position was "robust", with a year-end cash balance of ?37m and no debt.

At the current early stage, FDM said its "agile end-to-end business model" appeared to be "relatively resilient" to the challenges which were emerging in the marketplace.

"Although a small number of our Mounties have returned from client deployment, the vast majority of them continue to work on their client engagements, typically remotely," the board said, using the company's internal term for its consultants.

"However, it is not possible at this stage to predict the scale of the eventual impact of Covid-19 on businesses and economies around the world."

In that context, the board said it considered it appropriate to maintain maximum resilience through a strong balance sheet and, as a result, was no longer intending to recommend the final dividend.

"The board will keep the position under review and may consider one or more interim dividends in respect of the current financial year if future circumstances through the remainder of this year support such an approach."

FDM also confirmed that, as a result of the UK government's newly-introduced restrictions on gatherings designed to protect public health, it had decided to postpone its annual general meeting.

It said that, in line with the requirements of the Companies Act, it currently intended to hold the meeting no later than 30 June, and would give appropriate notice to shareholders in advance of a revised date.

"The board continues to monitor the situation relating to the Covid-19 pandemic and its impact and will update shareholders further on any material business or corporate developments via the Regulatory Information Service," the directors said.

At 1047 GMT, shares in FDM Group were up 3.02% at 716p.

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