- Midlands-focused property investor Real Estate Investors declared a lower first-quarter dividend, citing uncertainty created by the Covid-19 crisis.

The company said it would pay a dividend for the three months through march of 0.5p per share, with the expectation of paying the same amount for the second and third quarters.

Real Estate Investors said it retained the option to make a larger final quarter dividend payment following the year end.

'The board has not taken this decision lightly, and looks forward to the resumption of sustainable dividend growth, as soon as it is prudent to do so,' it said.

The first-quarter dividend would be paid on 24 July, to all shareholders on the register as at 26 June.

The company said its 'diverse and stable' property portfolio had performed well, despite 'extremely challenging' market conditions and 'unhelpful government restrictions placed on commercial landlords'.

Rent collection for the March quarter so far was 81% and the company remained in dialogue with occupiers whose payments remained overdue,

Many of those occupiers were waiting for their businesses to re-open or were taking advantage of a 90-day government payment rule.

'However, we anticipate that we will agree the repayment of any outstanding arrears alongside their ongoing rental payments,' Real Estate Investors said.

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