- Pest control company Rentokil Initial said it had suspended dividend payments and withdrawn its previous guidance from 2020, as the spread coronavirus exerts a 'significant impact' on its financial performance.

The company said it had introduced cost reduction measures that would save around £100m in 2020, including salary reductions for senior managers.

Planned capital expenditure would reduced by at least £75m in 2020 to below £200m.

Rentokil Initial said the impact on its business had significantly worsened in the last 10 days.

'Covid-19 has affected the majority of the key countries in our group with many markets in advanced stages of lockdown,' it said.

'The impact of the virus on our businesses to date has been varied, dependent on factors including the rate at which the virus has spread, individual government response and required levels of customer service.'

The suspension of dividend payments included withdrawing the final dividend proposed at the company's preliminary results in February.

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