Johnson Matthey PLC on Thursday cut its dividend for fiscal 2020 in light of the uncertainty created by the coronavirus pandemic, and said it is targeting cost savings which will lead to around 2,500 job losses.
The FTSE 100 specialty chemicals company declared a final dividend of 31.125 pence per share for the year ended March 31, bringing the full-year payment to 55.625 pence--down from 85.5 pence a year earlier and below the market consensus forecast of 68.07 pence taken from the company's website and based on thirteen analysts' estimates.
Chief Executive Robert MacLeod said that the group is targeting cost savings of at least 80 million pounds ($102 million) by the end of fiscal 2023--in addition to GBP120 million already announced and delivered--and this will lead to around 2,500 job losses globally. The company said it was unable to provide any financial guidance for fiscal 2021 given the ongoing uncertainty.Johnson Matthey has 14000 global employees, so this is a significant cut. It will be interesting to see if this is unique to them, or if this augurs a broader trend amongst chemical companies. Best wishes to them, and to all of us.