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  • Boston Pizza Royalties Income Fund (TSX:BPF.UN) has announced that it will suspend its April dividend distribution
  • The company’s planned distribution for March will still go ahead
  • Earlier this month, the company announced the temporary closure of all its dining and bar outlets
  • The company acknowledged that the decline in franchise sales will inevitably impact the amount of cash available for future distributions
  • Boston Pizza Royalties Income Fund (BPF.UN) is down 9.19 per cent to C$6.13 per share, with a market cap of $133.56 million

Boston Pizza Royalties Income Fund (TSX:BPF.UN) has announced that it will suspend its April dividend distribution.

The distribution of 10.2 cents announced on March 10, payable on March 31, will still go ahead. However, distributions thereafter have been put on hold for the foreseeable future.

Earlier this month, Boston Pizza announced the temporary closure of all its dining and sports bar outlets. While kitchens at its restaurants will remain open for take-out and delivery, the company acknowledged the inevitable impact on its cash reserves.

With significant declines in franchise and same restaurant sales, the company stressed that the subsequent decline in distribution cash to unitholders was unavoidable.

However, Chairman, Marc Guayabera, said that the decision was pivotal in ensuring the company’s continued performance.

“We believe that this is a prudent decision to help preserve the fund’s existing cash until the full economic consequences of COVID-19 on the fund are better understood.

“The trustees will continue to monitor the effects of COVID-19 on the fund, and adjust our distribution policy in a prudent manner as circumstances warrant with a view to preserving unitholder value,” he added.

Countries around the world are imposing increasingly strict measures in order to combat the spread of COVID-19.

Earlier today, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau issued a statement from Rideau Cottage where he is currently in self-isolation.

“You all think you’re invincible. You’re not. Enough is enough,” he warned.

Over the weekend, Canada’s provinces and territories threatened to roll out fines, with the potential for arrests in order to enforce social distancing.

Boston Pizza Royalties Income Fund (BPF.UN) is down 9.19 per cent to C$6.13 per share at 12:33pm EST.

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