April 2, 2020 / 4:05 PM / 4 months ago

CORRECTED-French Accor scraps dividend, to close two thirds of its hotels

(Corrects CEO name)

PARIS, April 2 (Reuters) - French hospitality group Accor said on Thursday it would cancel its planned dividend payout against 2019 earnings due to the coronavirus health crisis, which will see it shutter two thirds of its hotels in the coming weeks.

The company said it would put 75% of its workers into furlough or temporary unemployment, equivalent to over 200,000 people.

“Our activity has been severely disrupted,” Chief Executive Sebastien Bazin told reporters. He did not detail what the hit to revenues or profits would be.

The scrapped dividend is worth 280 million euros, and 25% of that amount will be redirected to a fund to help employees in financial difficulties, or the group’s partners.

Accor said it had over 2.5 billion euros available in cash and had a 1.2 billion revolving credit facility it had yet to drawn down on. (Reporting by Sarah White, Editing by Geert De Clercq and Angus MacSwan)

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