JOST Werke AG / Key word(s): Change in Forecast/Dividend
JOST suspends forecast for fiscal year 2020 due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic and rethinks the suitability of the dividend proposal
Since the preparation of the Annual Group Report 2019 on March 13, 2020, the effects of the coronavirus pandemic in Europe and North America have worsened with each day passing. In the meantime, many OEM customers have decided to temporarily shut down or else reduce their production volumes at several European plants in response.
The underlying assumptions on which the outlook in the Annual Group Report 2019 was based are no longer valid, as it is currently expected that the spread of the coronavirus pandemic will lead to a significant deterioration of the global economy in fiscal year 2020.
Due to the rapid spread of the pandemic worldwide, particularly in the last few days, the crisis measures being taken in relation thereto and their drastic effect on the economy, it is currently not possible to reliably estimate the development of the course of business for the 2020 fiscal year. Accordingly, the report on expected developments for the 2020 fiscal year, which is published on pages 55 and 56 of the Annual Group Report 2019, is no longer valid.
JOST has already applied for short-time work for a large part of the employees at its largest production site in Germany. The production sites in France, India, Brazil and South Africa had to be closed until further notice on the instructions of the local authorities. The remaining sites will react individually and flexibly to the changing circumstances. JOST will continue to maintain service and spare parts supply for customers in order to support delivery traffic on the roads. This helps ensure that the logistics industry, which is particularly important at the moment, can continue to operate safely so that people and hospitals can be supplied with all necessary goods.
Due to the speed with which the coronavirus pandemic is spreading and the lack of clarity over the duration and severity of the measures implemented in response, it is not possible to reliably estimate the economic impact on JOST. A dependable update of the outlook is not feasible under these rapidly changing circumstances. The Management Board is closely monitoring global developments and their influence on JOST's business and will provide a new forecast as soon as possible.
The Management Board wants shareholders to participate in the success of the 2019 fiscal year. For this reason, the Management Board would like to propose a dividend of EUR 0.80 per share (2018: EUR 1.10) to the Annual General Meeting. This would represent a total payout of EUR 11.9 million and means an increase of the payout ratio to 35.6% compared to the previous year (2018: 30.6%). This dividend proposal was approved on 13 March 2020.
In view of the current economic situation and its highly dynamic development, the Management Board must review the suitability of the dividend proposal. Against this background, the Management Board and the Supervisory Board reserve the option to reconsider the proposal. The Management Board will inform the shareholders in a timely manner.
Against the background of current developments and taking into account shareholders' health as well as the introduced regulations to limit physical contact in Germany, the Annual General Meeting will no longer take place on May 7, 2020. The legislator intends to provide new options for convening and holding the Annual General Meeting, for example by video conference, and to allow it to be held outside the previous eight-month period, which will give JOST greater flexibility and allow to better protect participants. JOST is monitoring current developments closely and will announce a new date for the Annual General Meeting at a later point.
JOST confirms the preliminary results announced on February 18, 2020. The final figures will be published as part of Annual Group Report on March 25, 2020.
|Company:||JOST Werke AG|
|Phone:||+49 6102 2950|
|Fax:||+49 (0)6102 295-298|
|Listed:||Regulated Market in Frankfurt (Prime Standard); Regulated Unofficial Market in Berlin, Dusseldorf, Munich, Stuttgart, Tradegate Exchange|
|EQS News ID:||1006041|
|End of Announcement||DGAP News Service|