Autoliv drops 2020 forecast, suspends dividend as pandemic weighs

STOCKHOLM — Sweden’s Autoliv , the world’s biggest airbag maker, withdrew its 2020 forecast due to the coronavirus crisis on Wednesday, suspended its dividend and said it had drawn the remaining $ 600 million from an existing credit line.

The pandemic has forced shutdowns at automakers across the world and Autoliv only two weeks ago announced a raft of cost cuts to cushion the blow from the disruption.

“Today we announce a number of additional actions taken by the company to continue to manage the effects brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic,” CEO Mikael Bratt said in a statement.

“We will continue to evaluate the changing environment and are prepared to do what is necessary to get us through this humanitarian and economic crisis,” he added.

Autoliv said it believed its position was robust in terms of both capital and liquidity. “But cancelling the dividend is in the best interests of the company to preserve cash and maintain flexibility given the highly uncertain environment,” it said.

The company, which announced on March 19 it had tapped $ 500 million from its credit facility, said the additional $ 600 million would put its cash balance at around $ 1.4 billion.

“The company believes a strong cash position will maximize our ability to navigate the challenging market,” it said.

Autoliv said almost all of its plants in Europe, the Americas, India, Malaysia and the Philippines, were currently closed, with most closures at customers currently planned at between two weeks and one month.

In China, operations had gradually recovered to around 90 percent compared to the same time in 2019, it added.

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Section Page News – Automotive News

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