Seek defers dividend, eases payment rules


Seek has postponed its dividend and is allowing customers some payment concessions due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Seek told the share market on Monday it would defer its first-half dividend to July 23 and was reducing costs to better manage cash flow.

The business will also draw down some undrawn debt facilities to help liquidity.

Customers are being offered allowances on their advertising to help the manage their finances.

Hirers on 12-month contracts will not have to spend a monthly minimum on advertising.

This will apply until the end of May.

Seek has also extended the expiry for pre-purchased ad packs to an unspecified date.

It’s offering similar measures in its Asia, Brazil and Mexico territories.

Seek said the measures would affect revenue in the short term but be partially offset by reducing costs.

Businesses have greatly reduced advertising during the pandemic.

Seek said sales dropped by 40 per cent at its Australia and New Zealand arm and its Asia arm in the week ended March 22.

Sales fell 60 per cent the following week in the same locations.

They had since stabilised, Seek said.

However, in China, where there are signs of economic recovery, Seek is enjoying better results.

Its Zhaopin business, which operates online job advertising, achieved March sales better than the 30 per cent drop that had been expected.

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