Ocean Wilsons Holdings Ltd - Dividend & COVID- 19 update
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Ocean Wilsons Holdings Limited
Dividend & COVID- 19 update
Ocean Wilsons Holdings Limited (the "Company") notes the announcement made by its principal operating subsidiary, Wilson Sons Limited ("Wilson Sons"), to the Brazilian and Luxembourg Stock Exchanges on 25 March 2020, in which the board of Wilson Sons announced the withdrawal of its proposal for US$0.54 per issued share to be made available to be distributed to its shareholders, as had previously been announced on 12 March 2020.
The Company further notes that Wilson Sons has instead recommended that US$0.21 per issued share be made available to be distributed to its shareholders.
By way of an update on the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic is having on Wilson Sons, the Company also notes Wilson Sons' statement as follows:
By postponing the AGM and deferring the decision on the remaining amount allocated in the accumulated profit, Wilson Sons seeks to better understand the global effects of the coronavirus outbreak and any subsequent impact on our clients' volumes before completing the distribution in reference to our 2019 results. In doing so we strive to strengthen our short-term financial liquidity during the peak of the pandemic, mitigate risks and maximise our contributions to Brazilian and worldwide supply chains in this challenging period for all humanity.
As well as implementing additional protective measures for our staff, suppliers and customers as announced on 17 March 2020, we are also taking immediate austerity measures to ensure the financial strength and resilience of our business. In order to preserve a robust cash flow through this downwards cycle, we are actively managing all our operational and financial levers to maintaining safe and reliable operations each day, including reduction in our capital spend and operating expenses.
We continue to seek to maintain solid financial metrics and ensure a robust balance sheet. Our liquidity remains strong with around US$78 million in cash and cash equivalents and US$104 million of undrawn credit lines at year end.
While the full impact from the coronavirus outbreak on economic activity and global trade with the associated implications for our businesses is still uncertain, the worldwide effect will take at least some months to stabilise. In light of such circumstances, we are continuously assessing the impacts on our operations and financial situation and remain confident in the resilience of our assets, as demonstrated in other volatile periods such as the 2008 financial crisis.
In light of this, the board of the Company (the "Board") has withdrawn its recommendation to pay a final dividend of US$0.70 per share and instead proposes to pay a final dividend of US$0.30 per share on 5 June 2020, to shareholders on the register of the Company as of the close of business on 11 May 2020.
Shareholders will receive dividends in Sterling by reference to the exchange rate applicable to the USD on the dividend record date except for those shareholders who elect to receive dividends in US dollars. Based on the current share price and exchange rates a dividend of US $0.30 per share represents a dividend yield of approximately 3.5%.
The Board is very conscious of the importance of its dividend to shareholders and will keep under review the prospects for any interim dividend through the course of 2020.
Given the current uncertainty caused by the COVID -19 pandemic, the Board is also withdrawing its market guidance and outlook statements for 2020 until both the impact and duration of the pandemic becomes clearer.