World News

Lockmaker Assa Abloy cuts dividend after Swedish call for action

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – Assa Abloy <ASSAb.ST>, the world’s biggest lockmaker, lowered proposed 2019 dividend on Monday and said it had begun cost cuts because of uncertainty resulting from the coronavirus pandemic.

Companies around the world are facing calls from governments to suspend their dividend payouts, encouraging industries such as banks and airlines in particular to conserve cash instead.

Sweden’s Assa Abloy cut its proposed payout for 2019 to 2.00 crowns per share from 3.85 crowns after Swedish financial markets minister Per Bolund over the weekend urged all companies in the country to drop dividends for last year altogether.

Assa Abloy said its board had a clear ambition to propose a second dividend of 1.85 crowns per share later in 2020 “when the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic can be better assessed and given that the financial position of the group allows this.”

(Reporting by Anna Ringstrom; Editing by Alexander Smith)