LondonMetrics Property Plc follow a policy of paying a sustainable and progressive dividend remains unchanged and the dividend declared this year is 109% covered by EPRA earnings. They have continued to declare quarterly dividends and offer shareholders a scrip alternative to cash payments.
In the year to 31 March 2023, the Company paid the third and fourth quarterly dividends for the year to 31 March 2022 and the first two quarterly dividends for the year to 31 March 2023, at a total cost of £92.4 million or 9.45p per share. The Company issued 4.0 million ordinary shares under the terms of the Scrip Dividend Scheme, which reduced the cash dividend payment by £9.1 million to £83.3 million.
The first two quarterly payments for the current year of 4.6p per share were paid as Property Income Distributions ('PID's) in the year. The third quarterly dividend of 2.3p per share was paid as a PID in April 2023 and the Company has approved a fourth quarterly payment of 2.6p per share to be paid in July 2023, of which 1.5p will be a PID. The total dividend payable for 2023 of 9.5p represents an increase of 2.7% over the previous year.
The LondonMetrics Property Board asserts they took the following into account when considering its dividend payments:
· Its REIT obligations to distribute 90% of property rental business profits;
· Its desire to pay a sustainable, covered and progressive return to shareholders;
· Its EPRA earnings for 2023; and
· The outlook for 2024.
At the year end, the Company had distributable reserves of £1,270.6 million (2022: £1,136.7 million), providing substantial cover for the dividend payable for the year. When required and at least six monthly, the Company receives dividends from its subsidiaries which increase its distributable reserves.