France's Thales withdraws final dividend, suspends outlook

France's Thales withdraws final dividend, suspends outlook

FILE PHOTO:  Patrice Caine, Chairman and CEO of Aerospace and defence group Thales, attends a news
FILE PHOTO: Patrice Caine, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Aerospace and defence group Thales, attends a news conference with Gemalto in Paris, France, December 18, 2017. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer/File Photo

PARIS: France's Thales on Tuesday became the latest major company to slash its dividend, suspend profit guidance and top up liquidity in response to the coronavirus crisis.

The aerospace and defence supplier said it had withdrawn the proposed final instalment of its 2019 dividend, saving €430 million (US$465 million). The company has already paid an interim dividend of €0.6, meaning the remaining €2.05 will not be paid.

Thales also suspended its 2020 financial guidance, which had assumed only a limited impact from the crisis, which is now grounding airline fleets and seizing up economies worldwide.

"We want to limit cash outflows that are not strictly necessary ... to contain the economic and industrial impact on the group as much as possible," Thales Chief Executive Patrice Caine told reporters.

Thales said it had also signed a new €2-billion credit facility that can be used over the next 12 months, with the option to extend it by another 6 months.

Source: Reuters

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