Apr 7, 2020

Tesco urged to pay dividend despite coronavirus

Investors are urging Tesco to declare a full-year dividend despite public sensitivities over payouts to shareholders during the coronavirus pandemic. Tesco stores pay about £700m a year in business rates. "I suspect any sensible board would tone down the quantum of dividend or suspend until times offer greater clarity. You can always pay exactly what you would have done in six, 12 or 18 months' time, when it is not in the glare of public focus." Wm Morrison, the smallest of the "Big four" supermarkets, last month declared an increased final dividend but deferred a decision on another special dividend until later in the year. The company had already promised a special dividend of about £5bn from the sale of its Thai and Malaysian operations to Thailand's CP Group.

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