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Cineworld bosses defer pay after all cinemas closed across globe

It said the Government-mandated closure of cinemas has been ‘extremely challenging’.

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Cineworld said the forced closure of cinemas has been extremely challenging (Ian West/PA)

Cineworld said the forced closure of cinemas has been extremely challenging (Ian West/PA)

Cineworld said the forced closure of cinemas has been extremely challenging (Ian West/PA)

Cineworld bosses have deferred their pay packets for the past year after the company was forced to shut its entire portfolio of 787 cinemas.

The world’s second largest cinema operator said it is also suspending payment of its proposed dividend for the fourth quarter, as it looks to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus outbreak.

It said the Government-mandated closure of cinemas has been “extremely challenging”.

Cineworld said it has put on hold the payment of a 4.25 cents (3.4p) per share dividend payout for the final quarter of 2019 and upcoming 2020 quarterly dividends.

This is a painful but necessary process as before the onslaught of the Covid-19 virus, we were excited and confident about the group’s future prospectsCineworld

It came as the business confirmed its executive directors will defer salaries and bonuses, while non-executive directors will also defer fees.

Cineworld said it has held discussion with landlords, the film studios and major suppliers as it has sought to preserve cash.

The company added that it is also “curtailing all currently unnecessary capital expenditure”.

The cinema business said it is also discussing its ongoing liquidity requirements with its lending banks.

In a statement, Cineworld said: “This has obviously been extremely challenging in many respects and our first priority has been the health and safety of our customers, employees and other stakeholders.

“This is a painful but necessary process as before the onslaught of the Covid-19 virus, we were excited and confident about the group’s future prospects.

“With very few exceptions, the good relationships we have built up over the years have been supportive and understanding of our efforts and, together with us, our industry partners look forward to the time when we shall again be able to open our doors and provide entertainment and pleasure to our customers.”

PA