- Energy company Centrica said it would cancel its dividend as part of a move to cut costs and said it would delay the sale of its stake in Spirit Energy until energy and financial markets were stable.

The 2019 final dividend payment of 3.5p per share, due to be paid in June 2020, was cancelled and the total cash outflow from the 2019 final dividend was expected to be £204m.

The company also said it would look to reduce 2020 cash expenditure by around £400m compared to previous plans, including reductions in non-essential operating costs and the delay of capital and restructuring projects, to provide flexibility to navigate the impacts of the pandemic.

Guidance for the year was pulled, with the Centrica saying it was difficult to quantify the impact of reduced energy demand and weaker economic conditions on its 2020 earnings. The fall in Brent oil prices, meanwhile, was forecast to negatively impact exploration & production adjusted operating cash flow in 2020 by around £100m.

'We were due to receive initial bids for Spirit Energy around the end of March, however we have taken the decision to pause the process until financial and commodity markets have settled,' the company said.

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