Home builder Persimmon said it had scrapped one planned dividend payment and postponed another as it braces for a fall in home completions due to the spreading coronavirus. Persimmon said it had canceled a proposed 125p per share interim dividend and would postpone a proposed final dividend payment of 110p per share. The second payment would be reassessed later in the calendar year when the effects of the virus were clearer. Persimmon said it entered the current year with a strong balance sheet including cash holdings of £844m, land creditors of £435m and 'industry leading' land holdings of 93,246 plots owned and under control. 'Despite this encouraging start to the financial year we are preparing for a significant delay in the timing of legal completions, a rise in cancellation rates and a material slowdown in new sales, the extent and duration of which is uncertain,' the company said. 'At this stage, given the level of continued uncertainty around economic and business activity, it is not possible to provide financial guidance for the the 2020 financial year.'
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