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Shaftesbury scraps dividend as worries grow over new virus curbs 

West End landlord Shaftesbury scraps dividend as worries grow over new coronavirus curbs

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West End landlord Shaftesbury has scrapped its dividend amid fears that further coronavirus restrictions are set to hammer the High Street.

The FTSE 250 firm, which owns shops, eating spots and offices in central London, cancelled the payout as it revealed that less than half of rents owed by struggling tenants had been collected in the first half of the year.

The company said yesterday there was a need to conserve cash in case visitor numbers to shops were hit by another lockdown. And it added that ‘the board has decided that it would not declare a final dividend’.

West End landlord Shaftesbury, which owns much of London’s Covent Garden (pictured),  has scrapped its dividend amid fears further coronavirus restrictions are set to hit the High Street

Shaftesbury said shops that lease space from it were still struggling with low visitor numbers.

The firm warned that measures to combat the pandemic in the UK had already dealt a significant blow to retailers, with just 41 per cent of its tenants able to pay rents due in the six months to September 30.

Shaftesbury said the West End had seen a ‘gradual recovery’ since June, when the lockdown was eased. 

But it warned that ‘further measures’ to control the pandemic could make the situation even more difficult.

Shaftesbury said it was providing support for struggling tenants and would aim to resume paying its dividend ‘as soon as it considers prudent’.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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