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UK outsourcer Mitie cuts costs, says dividend unlikely

(Reuters) - Mitie <MTO.L> does not expect to pay a dividend this year if overall trading does not improve and has taken steps to cut some costs due to the coronavirus crisis, the British outsourcing firm said on Friday, while saying much of its business was still operating.

Mitie said it had identified 25 million pounds in overhead cost savings and would be cutting board and executive pay for the next three months in response to the crisis.

But it also listed business including a raft of essential services it helps provide in the public sector, including to the NHS, the police and the Bank of England, which were still fully operational and others which were working at "close to normal" levels.

The company, which manages and maintains some of London's landmarks, together with high street buildings and homes, said it was looking at additional support through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, which will help "furlough" rather than lay off some staff.

"The board is therefore confident that the combination of its existing lending facilities, government support measures and the current actions being undertaken, Mitie will be able to meet the challenges arising from COVID-19 in the near term," Chief Executive Officer Phil Bentley said.

Mitie had said earlier this year that it expected its annual organic revenue growth to be flat in the current fiscal year as public sector activity slowed.

(Reporting by Yadarisa Shabong and Indranil Sarkar in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber, Bernard Orr)