Randstad cuts dividend for 2019 to retain cash amid coronavirus

AMSTERDAM, March 23 (Reuters) - Netherlands-based Randstad , one of the world’s largest staffing companies, on Monday said it will cut its dividend payment for 2019 in an effort to retain cash due to financial uncertainty caused by the coronavirus crisis.

Randstad had intended to pay a regular dividend of 2.09 euros and a special dividend of 2.23 euros over 2019.

Randstad shares fell 7.4% in early Amsterdam trading, while the broader market was down roughly 4.4%.

“As it is impossible at this time to predict the length and depth of the situation, capital preservation is one of our key priorities,” the company said in a statement.

“Therefore, as a precautionary measure, Randstad has decided to remove its 2019 ordinary and special cash dividend proposals from the agenda of the Annual General Meeting of shareholders to be held tomorrow,” it said.

Randstad said it remains committed to its long-term capital allocation policy, but said “prudence is warranted given the serious adverse economic conditions seen globally that have had an immediate impact on our business and the lack of visibility in these unprecedented times.” (Reporting by Anthony Deutsch, editing by Louise Heavens)