In the current context of the worsening global health crisis, Bureau Veritas continues to take every necessary action to protect the health of its employees and, where possible, of its clients, suppliers, and subcontractors. The Group’s businesses around the world have activated their business continuity plans and have implemented remote working wherever possible, in strict compliance with decisions taken by local governments and World Health Organization recommendations. In this context and so as to retain its ability to bounce back rapidly after the crisis, Bureau Veritas has chosen to take up various Government schemes such as temporary layoffs in France, and the deferral of certain employment contributions and tax payments.
In these unprecedented circumstances, Bureau Veritas’ Board of Directors met on April 3, 2020, and took the exceptional decision, as have many other French companies, to cancel the dividend due to be proposed to the June 26, 2020 Annual General Meeting to approve the financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2019. The Board’s decision complies with the French regulatory requirement for the suspension of dividend payments in return for Government support. The decision also strengthens the Group’s responsible attitude towards all stakeholders who are making considerable efforts or facing major challenges during this unparalleled crisis.
Aldo Cardoso, Chairman of the Board, said:
“I would like to express my full support to all of our employees who are mobilized, and also to our clients, suppliers and subcontractors affected by this unprecedented crisis. The Group is taking every measure to preserve health, safety and its very high level of quality of service. The difficult decision to cancel the Group’s 2019 dividend was taken unanimously by the Board and it has the full support of Wendel, our largest shareholder. Bureau Veritas benefits from a solid financial position and a highly resilient business model. The Board of Directors is confident in the Group's ability, at the end of this crisis, to return to the profitable and sustainable growth it has delivered over recent years following its successful transformation.”
Didier Michaud-Daniel, Chief Executive Officer, said:
“The Group’s progress in digitalization together with our remote technical solutions allow us to tackle efficiently both the drop in activity in our major markets and to continue to provide essential services to our clients. This way, we contribute to maintaining activities vital to people’s safety and security. Bureau Veritas will benefit from its strong footprint across 140 countries, as the different circumstances unfold in each region. Indeed, we are already seeing the beginning of a recovery in China.”