July 1, 2020 / 2:52 AM / 12 days ago

Australia's Lendlease scraps dividend as lockdown hits earnings

July 1 (Reuters) - Australia’s Lendlease Group said on Wednesday it will record a loss in fiscal year 2020 as delays and reduced productivity across segments due to COVID-19 restrictions dented its earnings, and added that it would not pay any dividends.

The construction firm said it expects a statutory loss after tax in the range of A$230 million ($158.91 million) to A$340 million. It had recorded bit.ly/3iiyYBh a net profit after tax attributable to shareholders of A$467 million last year.

Due to lockdown restrictions across the globe, Lendlease faced delays in securing fresh projects, with its construction segment experiencing lower productivity and delay in starting work overseas, the Australian company said in a statement.

The firm also scrapped its final dividend for the fiscal year, citing a possible hit to its earnings from the COVID-19 pandemic. It had declared a final dividend of 30 Australian cents a share last year.

The Sydney-based company had raised about A$1.15 bln ($794.54 mln) in April to cushion the blow from market uncertainty induced by the pandemic, and also withdrew its forecasts.

Lendlease said on Wednesday it expects to include about A$525 million of the estimated A$550 million pre-tax restructuring costs to exit its non-core business in its financial year 2020 accounts.

Shares of the construction firm slumped up to 7.4% to A$11.46, marking their worst intraday fall since March 27, before recovering to gain 0.65% as of 0203 GMT.

$1 = 1.4474 Australian dollars Reporting by Sameer Manekar in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips

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