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06 Apr 2020 | 16:21

Secure Income REIT still intending to pay quarterly dividend

(Sharecast News) - Secure Income REIT updated the market on its operations in light of the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic on Monday, saying that of the rents due to date, representing over 94% of the total quarterly rent roll, 76% had been paid on time. The AIM-traded real estate investment trust said the balance of the quarter's rent, either not yet due or due but remaining outstanding, was subject to active discussions to agree an appropriate level of temporary deferment in support of businesses that were suffering forced closure.

It said its management team had "very long relationships" with all of its major tenants and, consistent with its aim to work in long-term partnership with them, it wanted to be supportive of those affected businesses while protecting its own position and its responsibility to its shareholders.

"The company's tenant roster is made up of well-known, long established businesses with excellent management teams and substantial owners, occupying key operating assets with high barriers to entry," the board said in its statement.

"While current conditions, including forced temporary closures of tenant premises, will require collaboration between all stakeholders to deal with the cash flow challenges resulting from the pandemic, those discussions are already underway where necessary."

Secure Income REIT said it was in a "strong" financial position, with a net loan-to-value ratio at 31 December of 32% across its non-recourse debt structures, and ?234m of uncommitted cash.

It said "significant" covenant headroom was maintained in all of its debt facilities.

"The company intends to announce its next quarterly dividend on 20 April, and confirms its previous guidance that this will remain at 4.2p per share, consistent with the previous quarter's dividend.

"The board will continue to keep its dividend policy under review as responses to the pandemic develop."

At 1619 BST, shares in Secure Income REIT were up 3.23% at 304p.
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