The Board has completed a review of the dividend policy and has revised the policy to ensure that the dividends are sustainable and paid out of underlying earnings. SingPost's dividends in the past had been largely supported by the domestic mail business, which continues to see declining volumes.
To provide future sources of earnings, significant transformational investments have been made in eCommerce, eCommerce logistics and in the redevelopment of SPC retail mall. In the short term, however, these investments will impact earnings. We have raised capital and taken on debt to fund these investments. The need to review the dividend policy should be understood in this context.
The dividend policy has been changed from an absolute amount to one based on a payout ratio ranging from 60% to 80% of underlying net profit for each financial year, paid quarterly. The Board's objective is to grow the underlying earnings and dividends over time.
For the third quarter ended 31 December 2017, the Board of Directors has declared an interim dividend of 0.5 cent per ordinary share (tax exempt one-tier).
The interim quarterly dividend of 0.5 cent per ordinary share will be paid on 28 February 2018. The transfer book and register of members of the Company will be closed on 14 February 2018 for the preparation of dividend warrants. Duly completed registrable transfers of the ordinary shares in the capital of the Company received by the Company’s registrar up to 5.00 pm on 13 February 2018 will be registered to determine members’ entitlements to the dividend.
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