COVID-19 update and postponement of AGM
27 March 2020
Balfour Beatty, the international infrastructure group, today provides the following update in respect of COVID-19.
AGM and final dividend payment
The Annual General Meeting ("AGM") of Balfour Beatty plc was due to be held on Thursday 14 May 2020. In response to limitations on gatherings of people, the Board intends to postpone this event. Details of the revised date for the AGM will be provided as soon as possible.
As the Group's proposed final dividend for 2019 of 4.3 pence per share, which was due to be paid on 3 July 2020, requires approval at the AGM, the postponement of the AGM means the approval of this final dividend to shareholders will be postponed accordingly.
Whilst Balfour Beatty benefits from a strong financial position, in light of the market uncertainty arising from COVID-19, the Board will keep the appropriateness of paying the final dividend under review until the rescheduled AGM, with a final decision dependant on the prevailing circumstances at the time.
As part of the leadership’s response, during this challenging period, the Group Chair, Executive Directors, Non-Executive Directors and the Group’s Executive Committee have committed to take a 20% reduction to their salaries.
Building on the momentum demonstrated in 2019, Balfour Beatty had a positive start to 2020. However, the unprecedented events related to COVID-19 have caused significant disruption to the global economy.
At this stage, it is not possible to forecast either the duration of this disruption or its impact on the Group’s financial results for 2020. Balfour Beatty will provide further updates on its trading performance as and when appropriate.
Health and Safety
The primary focus for the Group is on the health, safety and wellbeing of all employees, partners and the general public. In line with the current guidance on COVID-19 from the UK Government, the Group’s sites and contracts will remain operational where it is practical to appropriately implement the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) issued on 24 March 2020 by the Construction Leadership Council, and endorsed by Public Health England. In the US, the Group is adhering to regulations on a state by state basis, whilst in Hong Kong operations are following local government guidance.
Communications to the Group’s employees have been significantly increased and include daily safety briefings to the operational workforce with specific reference to COVID-19 mandatory procedures.
Balfour Beatty continues to benefit from the strong financial position which it has built up over the last five years. As at 25 March 2020, the Group had £395 million of net cash and £375 million of undrawn facilities.
The Group is focused on sustaining its inherent strengths through the present uncertainty in order to ensure it responds rapidly when normal conditions return.
This includes not only retaining its balance sheet strength, but also its unique capabilities. Balfour Beatty constructs and maintains critical national infrastructure at the backbone of both the economy and people’s daily lives. The Board is determined that Balfour Beatty will continue to contribute fully to supporting national economies and local communities, now and into the future.
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Notes to editors:
- Balfour Beatty (balfourbeatty.com) is a leading international infrastructure group. With 26,000 employees, we provide innovative and efficient infrastructure that underpins our daily lives, supports communities and enables economic growth. We finance, develop, build and maintain complex infrastructure such as transportation, power and utility systems, social and commercial buildings.
- Our main geographies are the UK, US and Hong Kong. Over the last 110 years we have created iconic buildings and infrastructure all over the world including the London Olympics’ Aquatic Centre, Hong Kong’s first Zero Carbon building, the National Museum of the Marine Corps in the US and the Channel Tunnel Rail Link.