Mayfield releases solid trading statement but elects to defer dividend for 6 months payment
Victoria focused early childhood education and care (ECEC) provider Mayfield Childcare Limited has issued a market update in which it confirms that the current trading year to date has been robust despite COVID-19 concerns, but as a precautionary measure has elected to postpone the payment of its full year dividend by six months.
The company, which operates 21 centres, reported that occupancy was up 0.5 per cent on a like for like basis for the first 12 weeks of 2020 and that when combined with the contribution from 2019 acquisitions has resulted in revenue growth of 8.6 per cent to $5.6 million and earnings before interest and tax growth of $0.5 million up 11.4 per cent.
The absence of any material impact to trading from COVID-19, according to the statement, was due to the management team responding quickly, ahead of Government advice, to implement stringent health and hygiene procedures, including centre access restrictions and health and travel clearances for both staff and families.
The combination of measures reassured families and team members and contributed to a more consistent and manageable operating environment which has supported trading performance.
That being said the company also confirmed that as a precautionary measure necessary due to the difficulty in predicting future cash flows in a COVID-19 driven environment, the shareholder dividend announced on 31 January 2020 and due to be paid on 27 March 2020 will now be deferred until 25 September 2020.
As per the Preliminary Financial Report for the year ended 31 December 2019, the expected dividend per share to be paid was 7.71 cents with a total cost of around $2.5 million.
In the event that the COVID-19 shock is shorter than expected the company has signalled that the Board will consider bringing the payment forward.
FY 2020 guidance has also been withdrawn.
To read the statement please click here.