Retirement homes builder McCarthy & Stone is acting to build up cash reserves to create a £127m fighting fund to face the coronavirus epidemic.
Today the firm announced it is fully drawing down a £200m cash facility to bolster its immediate cash reserves.
The retirement home builder said it was difficult at this stage to quantify the impact of the Government’s likely plan for self-isolation for those over 70 years of age for an initial period of three months.
“At this stage, it is too early to speculate on the full extent of the resulting impact on our financial performance for the full year and beyond. However, we do anticipate an inevitable material impact on trading in the coming months.”
McCarthy & Stone is currently evaluating several further actions to balance the preservation of cash with the long-term needs of the business.
As a first step, it has cancelled this year’s dividend payment to shareholders due to be voted through at next week’s agm.
In a statement to the Stock Exchange, the board said: “Our immediate priority is the health and safety of our residents, employees, and contractors.
“We have been taking every step we can to reduce the risk of infection across our developments to the extent possible within the concept of independent living.
“We are working closely with our regional teams and our house and estate managers to put in place appropriate preventative measures following and, in many cases, exceeding the advice from Government and Public Health England.”