// ScS suspends payment of the interim dividend
// The retailer said it will use the cash for anything other than protecting the financial strength of its business
// The UK government is backing the business’ financial strength amid the Covid-19 pandemic
ScS has suspended payment of the interim dividend, which was due to be paid on May 7, as the UK government helps protect the financial strength of the business amid the coronavirus outbreak.
The furniture retailer said that despite its strong balance sheet, “it is appropriate” to suspend payment of the interim dividend at a time when the government is backing the business’ resilience.
ScS continues to “review all ongoing cash expenditure to protect liquidity” in the short term.
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The business has also said it has “moved in a swift but considered way” with regards to furloughing colleagues, while at the same time, maintaining customer support.
Last month, ScS announced temporary closures of its stores, distribution network and head office in a bid to protect colleagues and customers amid the nationwide lockdown.
ScS said that while it cannot predict the outcome of the Covid-19 impact on business, it was confident in its balance sheet and the level of flexibility in its cost base.
The retailer saw its half-year interim revenue rise last month despite a low level of consumer confidence.
Its revenue increased from £151.4 million, to £152 million, while sales increased 0.5 per cent to £160.1 million.
The company also reported a gross profit of £71.7 million, up from £71.5 million, while post-IFRS EBITDA climbed to £16.6 million and pre-IFRS rose to £3.8 million.