COVID-19 update 

As the Company announced on 24 March 2020, until the extent and duration of the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic is better understood, the Board believes conserving cash is in the best interests of the long term sustainability of the business. 

Whilst our ordinary dividend of at least c.£250 million per annum, has been stress tested and is payable though a ‘normal’ downturn, the global COVID-19 pandemic goes beyond normal and even severe cyclical swings and represents an exceptional case. 

Accordingly, we have taken the decision to cancel the 2019 final dividend of 3.80 pence per share (c.£125 million) that was due to be paid on 15 May and the planned special dividend payment of 10.99 pence per share (c.£360 million) that was due to be paid on 10 July, both of which were subject to shareholder approval.