- Roadside convenience retailer Applegreen canceled its dividend to preserve its balance sheet on expectations for a material reduction in profit in its current fiscal year. The announced arrived as the company said it had more than doubled profit in 2019.

Footfall and volumes had been impacted in the last two weeks as governments and customers took increasing measures to contain the spread of the Covid-19 virus, the company said.

'We expect a material reduction in profitability for the current financial year. The scale of this will be dependent on how the situation develops and over what timeframe, together with the impact of any further measures taken by national governments to mitigate the disruption,' it added.

The company also said it would not issue financial guidance for current and future years, and added that previously published market expectations should be disregarded.

For the year ended 31 December 2019, pre-tax profit rose to €37.2m from €15.3m and revenue rose 53% to €3.1bn.

In response to the unprecedented and uncertain environment, Applegreen said was taking a number of actions to protect profitability and conserve cash including a decision to not to recommend a final dividend in relation to 2019 at its forthcoming AGM.

At 10:04am: [LON:APGN] Applegreen PLC share price was +8p at 205p

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