Covid-19: Hiscox suspends dividends

Hiscox announced that its dividends will no longer be put to shareholders in its next Annual General Meeting.

In light of the ongoing pandemic, the Hiscox board has decided to suspend the 2019 final dividend of 29.6 cents per share, which was scheduled for payment on 10 June 2020.

The move will help Hiscox to “serve the needs of businesses and households through the extraordinary challenges presented by Covid-19”.

The board has also agreed that for 2020 the company will not propose an interim dividend payment, or conduct any share buyback. 

In its latest update, the insurance giant also said that its capital, liquidity and funding positions remain strong. 

Trading across the group for the first two months of the year was “ahead of expectations”, though due to the “uncertainty” of the virus, it is unable to accurately forecast the outlook for 2020. 

Because of this, the group has withdrawn all financial guidance for 2020 “until there is more clarity”.

In a statement, the group said: “We remain confident in our ability to return to our normal 90-95% combined ratio target range for the retail business in 2022.

“We remain focused on supporting our customers, employees and other stakeholders through this crisis.”

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