Commercial property group Real Estate Investors has vowed to continue paying dividends to shareholders despite the current state of the economy.
The Birmingham-based group told the London Stock Exchange today it would continue making the quarterly payments albeit at a reduced rate.
Chief executive Paul Bassi said: “The board is very mindful of the ongoing uncertainties surrounding the covid-19 pandemic and the potential for the markets in which we operate to deteriorate.
“We have therefore decided to reduce quarterly dividend payments and leave the option to make a larger, final quarter dividend payment to be decided once the year has been completed.
“The board has not taken this decision lightly and looks forward to the resumption of sustainable dividend growth as soon as it is prudent to do so.
“The diversity of our portfolio combined with our close working relationships with our tenants and their advisers, together with management’s in-depth knowledge of the regional marketplace, continues to be the strength of our business model.
“Given the current market, it is appropriate we act prudently and a logical precaution is to reduce dividend payments during the course of the year, leaving the option to make a larger final payment if the company is able to continue to maintain its current resilience.”
Mr Bassi said the company’s portfolio had continued to perform well despite the impact of the pandemic and lockdown on its tenants.
Its portfolio consists of 58 assets and 277 occupiers with £17.3 million contracted rental income and occupancy at 95 per cent.
“Rent collection for the March quarter so far is 81 per cent and we remain in a dialogue with occupiers whose payments remain overdue, many of whom are waiting for their businesses to re-open or are taking advantage of the 90-day government payment rule,” he added.