PARIS, March 30 (Reuters) - French luxury goods group Hermes said on Monday it has decided to trim its planned 2020 dividend to shareholders in response to the coronavirus outbreak.
The French government has put pressure on big French companies to ditch their dividends in order to keep cash in their businesses and has banned firms seeking state financial aid from making payouts to shareholders until the crisis is over.
Hermes said in a statement it had sufficient cash reserves available to maintain the basic salary of its 15,500 workers worldwide without tapping state financial aid available in France or elsewhere.
The group, known for its handbags and silk scarves, added that it would reduce its proposed dividend to 4.55 euros ($5.03) per share from 5.00 euros, keeping the payout at the same level as in 2019.
Hermes said that its executive chairmen had decided to forgo hikes in their fixed and variable pay, keeping remuneration at the same level as in 2019.
Ray-Ban maker EssilorLuxottica said earlier on Monday it was suspending its dividend because of the coronavirus pandemic and would delay its annual shareholder meeting by a month. ($1 = 0.9055 euros) (Reporting by Leigh Thomas Editing by Chris Reese and Grant McCool)
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