The Board of Directors of SalMar has today decided that in the critical situation society is in, that the announced dividend of NOK 2.37 billion (€205 million) for 2019 will not be paid as previously announced.
The decision was made after thorough assessments by the board and administration on the basis of the uncertainty that now prevails regarding the spread of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) and the consequences it may have for the entire value chain and a number of local communities along the coast, SalMar states in an announcment.
The Board of Directors of SalMar is committed to taking the necessary steps to secure the company going forward, both operationally, strategically and financially. Food production is a vital activity for the society and must be protected in every way. The Board of Directors and the company now give the highest priority to the work to take the necessary measures in a situation of great uncertainty.
It is also important for the Board to ensure that SalMar is able to take strategic opportunities that will come in the future, including offshore fish farming. This to position the company for continued growth and to ensure continued solid returns to shareholders over time, according to the statement.
In the current situation, the Board of Directors believes that, not to pay dividends, is a proper measure to safeguard the interests of both society and shareholders.
SalMar has a strong balance sheet and a low debt ratio. The Board’s new dividend proposal is therefore exclusively linked to the national and global situation that has arisen and does not entail any change in the general dividend policy, with predictable payment of surplus liquidity as the foundation.