March 24, 2020 / 7:29 AM / 4 days ago

UPDATE 2-Russia's M.video postpones dividend talks due to coronavirus

(Adds sales numbers, comment)

MOSCOW, March 24 (Reuters) - Russian consumer electronics retailer M.video has decided to postpone discussions regarding its dividend policy due to uncertainty caused by the coronavirus crisis, the company said on Tuesday.

“...it is difficult to predict the full impact on our business in 2020 due to developments both inside Russia and globally,” M.video said in a statement after reporting full-year results for 2019.

Last year, M.video’s adjusted net profit rose 44.8% to 11.2 billion roubles ($142.09 million), while revenue grew 3.6 to 365.2 billion roubles, it said.

“Looking ahead at business continuity, the group is financially well equipped to cope with this unprecedented situation in the medium term,” it said.

Russia has so far recorded 438 cases of the virus and one coronavirus-related death. Moscow’s authorities have asked people over 65 to stay at home and also encouraged people to work from home.

The company said it had seen a spike in sales of home office goods as well as TVs and washing machines this month.

The Russian rouble has been one of this year’s worst performing currencies. Past falls in the rouble have prompted brief spending sprees by consumers looking to snap up electronics goods before prices are raised.

The company said in a presentation for investors its sales in the first two and a half months of 2020 were 18.2% higher year on year, while like-for-like sales increased 13.1%.

M.video said supplies from China had resumed, but it was seeking to replenish stocks through domestic purchases of essential household appliances, home office equipment and expendables.

$1 = 78.8230 roubles Reporting by Maria Kiselyova Writing by Tom Balmforth Editing by Louise Heavens, Kirsten Donovan

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