dealtn wrote:There are 12 months to make dividends after the accounting period, so allows time for suspensions etc.
Essentially then, they are front loading in anticipation that the outrun for the financial year as a whole will be worse than previous. So the PIDs are cut or postponed rather than cancelled entirely.
OK so you need to be careful by what you mean by outturn.
The dividends paid to ensure qualifying as a REIT continues are different to profit. Secondly the "relevant profit" needs distributing within 12 months of the "relevant period".
I don't have time to look at the relevant accounts at present, but for LAND at least (from memory), for the annual period that has already ended they have not paid sufficient dividends to satisfy the REIT criteria, so they will need to make another dividend regardless of future events to maintain REIT status. Suspending dividends in the meantime might be prudent from a cash flow perspective, amongst other things to see how business works out, and rental income occurs, but that is distinctly different to the calculation of the minimum dividend payment that is legally required to ensure ongoing REIT status.
Unless it is thought such a company would prefer to lose REIT status, or that a change to the legal requirements will occur (both possible of course), it will be necessary to make another dividend distribution in the coming months, even if the business deteriorates further.