BAE defers dividend decision, says coronavirus will hit outlook


Adds supply chain details

LONDON, April 3 (Reuters) - Britain's BAE Systems BAES.L said it would defer a decision on whether to pay its dividend and had launched cost control measures after seeing significant disruption from coronavirus in recent weeks.

While the outbreak will impact its previous guidance for 2020, it said it could not at this stage predict the scale of the hit.

"We recognise the importance of the dividend to our shareholders and whilst it remains our intention to pay a dividend, the timing of any payment will be contingent on prevailing macro-economic and social conditions over the coming months," it said.

The maker of Typhoon fighters, combat vehicles and Astute Class nuclear-powered attack submarines said its liquidity was strong, with significant gross cash and access to a 2 billion pound ($2.5 billion) revolving credit facility committed to April 2024.

The British company said it was also working closely with its customers and suppliers to support them, meaning it would be able to increase production quickly once it is able to do so.

($1 = 0.8078 pounds)

(Reporting by Kate Holton; editing by Guy Faulconbridge and Paul Sandle)

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