U+I slashes dividend, exec team takes half salary during crisis

UK developer-investor U+I has become the latest European company to suspend dividend payments in an effort to preserve cash amid the coronavirus outbreak.

In a statement on Wednesday, U+I said the measure will allow it to keep an extra £4.4 mln in cash as it grapples with the impact from the pandemic.

The company has consensually reduced salaries for three months with its executive directors taking 50% and non-executive directors 75%. U+I is also consulting with all senior staff about a possible 10% reduction, it added.  

‘Given the increased economic uncertainty created by the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic and the impact of stopping or deferring development expenditure, the group has taken immediate steps to make further cost savings through a redundancy programme,’ the company said. This is expected to deliver annualised savings of £1.4 mln. In addition, seventeen members of the team have been furloughed, it added.
   
U+I said that it has collected just 51% of quarterly rents and is withdrawing financial guidance for the year as it is currently unable to quantify the impacts of Covid-19 on its future financial and trading performance.

Matthew Weiner, Chief Executive, said: ‘We are committed to working with our tenants during this difficult period, and our contingency planning is in place and working effectively to ensure business continuity. We remain committed to our successful growth strategy for the long term and I am grateful to everyone at U+I for their continued hard work and resilience in these unprecedented times.’