Orora told the ASX that the shareholder return was “considered appropriate and has been determined after having regard to a variety of factors including: COVID-19 related uncertainty, tightening liquidity in debt markets and the terms of Orora’s debt facilities, retaining Orora’s strong balance sheet, as well as preserving flexibility to pursue potential growth opportunities”.
The company reiterated that it was keen to pursue potential growth investment opportunities, but if no suitable opportunities arose the company said it would consider returning excess capital to shareholders.
Orora sold its Australian Fibre Business, a major recycler of cardboard and manufacturer of corrugated boxes, for $1.72 billion. It had originally planned to return about $1.2 billion of this to shareholders, but this was months before the emergence of the coronavirus.
Meanwhile, in a trading update Orora said COVID-19 was expected to have an adverse financial impact in the second half of about $25 million, mainly due to the impact on its North American business.
Orora shares traded down 0.82 per cent to $2.41 in the first hour of Friday trade.