Coronavirus: Super Retail Group cancels interim dividend
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The Super Retail Group, owner of Australia’s leading fishing tackle retail chain, has cancelled its interim dividend to shareholders in a move that will keep $43m of cash within the business.
The group says that the decision has been taken in view of the COVID-19 pandemic. It said: “In the present environment the Board believes that preserving cash is the most prudent course of action to maintain liquidity and protect shareholder value.”
Anthony Heragthy, the group’s CEO and Managing Director, said: “COVID-19 and its impact on our business and the community is uncertain and changing rapidly. We are taking all actions available to us to best navigate the group through this difficult period. We remain focused on continuing to provide essential and self-sufficiency products to our valued customers.
“Super Retail Group is committed to supporting the effort of government and the community to limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus. As a business our priority is to ensure the health and wellbeing of our team members, customers, trade partners and the community in general.
“We have implemented a number of safety measures including the adoption of flexible working arrangements, travel restrictions and increased hygiene and safety protocols in our stores and support offices.
“All decisions regarding our team members and customers’ health and safety are informed by the policy and advice of the relevant government and health authorities.”
The group also provided a trading update for the last four weeks which saw total sales across all segments rise 3.3%. Its Boating, Camping Fishing (BCF) business was 3% down on a like-for-like basis.
Heraghty added: “To date the group has maintained positive sales momentum in its two largest brands and has benefited from a diversified portfolio of businesses with store locations in both metropolitan and regional areas across Australia and New Zealand. Less than 20% of our stores are located in large malls, where foot traffic has declined significantly.”