The group’s board notes that, at the date of this announcement, direct let bookings for the forthcoming 2020/21 academic year are ahead of bookings as compared with the same time last year.
The group expects to receive materially reduced revenues than budgeted for the final term of the current academic year.
At the date of this announcement, the group’s available banking facilities totalled £335m, of which about £249m was drawn. The group currently benefits from a robust balance sheet, including cash resources of around £50m, conservative borrowing levels and an undrawn £45m redrawable credit facility.
If the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic continues through the remainder of the 2020 calendar year, the group’s rental income will be materially adversely affected.
The directors currently intend to maintain the third interim dividend for the quarter ended 31 March 2020 at a level comparable to that of the quarter ended 31 December 2019.
They expect to declare the third interim dividend on or around 1 May 2020.