UK's Centrica Shares Hit Record Low Amid Cancelled Dividend, Weak Demand

Britain’s largest energy supplier Centrica cancelled its 2019 dividend and cut costs in anticipation of an increase in non payments by customers and a drop in demand due to the COVID-19 outbreak, sending its shares to record lows, Reuters reported. The government has ordered sweeping measures to slow the spread of the new coronavirus, shutting down much of the economy and raising the prospect of mass job losses. Shares in the company hit 34.35 pence on Thursday, morning, their lowest level since the company’s inception in 1997. “We also expect to see an increase in working capital outflows and customer bad debt, as certain customer segments defer payments due to the reduction of household incomes and business revenues,” Centrica said on Thursday. Britain’s energy trade association Energy UK earlier this week called on the government to offer financial support to energy suppliers to help them offer payment breaks to those struggling with bills. Read more