End of August 2019, the Board of Directors of Almancora Société de gestion, statutory director of KBC Ancora, has decided to make a limited adjustment to the dividend policy. This adjustment means that, with effect from the current financial year, 90% of the distributable recurring result for the financial year (i.e. after adjustment for any exceptional results and after the compulsory formation of the legal reserve) will be paid out as (interim) dividend. Compared to the previous dividend policy, this means a reduction of 10%.
As KBC Ancora is holding more cash within the business as a result, this will enable the outstanding financial liabilities to be reduced more quickly. That makes KBC Ancora’s balance sheet more resilient against shocks and, from May 2022, on the next loan maturity date (EUR 100 million out of a total of EUR 343 million), will in principle lead to an accelerated reduction in the interest charges payable.
It should be noted, however, that:
The adjusted dividend policy would in principle have applied for the first time to the interim dividend which (barring exceptional circumstances) would have been made payable at the beginning of June 2020. However, in the light of the Covid-19 pandemic which has been impacting the world since the spring of 2020, the Board of Directors of Almancora Société de gestion, statutory director of KBC Ancora, decided in early April 2020 to deviate from this adjusted dividend policy. It decided not to distribute an interim dividend, nor to propose a final dividend in respect of the financial year 2019/2020. This decision followed the announcement by KBC Group that it was withdrawing its proposal to declare a final dividend for the financial year 2019 and suspending the proposed repurchase of its own shares.
This reflects the decision by the statutory director to follow KBC Group in adopting a cautious stance in the present exceptional circumstances.