Amid the unprecedented COVID-19 situation, which affects the entire world, MMK aims to maintain its established standards of corporate governance. This means transparency of our operations and timely updates on developments both within the Group and on our sales markets.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a severe negative impact on every aspect of people's lives on a global scale, including production. Recently, we have seen weakening demand in key industries consuming steel, including MMK's products, such as the construction, automotive and pipe-making industries.
In this situation, the Group needs to take every measure, including financial measures, to protect the health and wellbeing of our people, their families and our communities, including our customers and suppliers.
At the same time, we are taking other decisive actions both to protect the Group's interests over the long term and to ensure additional resilience against the potential production disruption. These actions include: reducing planned 2020 capex by ca. 20%; actively managing cash flows to ensure that we are timely fulfilling our payment obligations to our suppliers and sub‐contractors; and implementing a cost-cutting programme.
We consider it prudent in these unprecedented times to defer decisions regarding an interim dividend for 2020 until the autumn (subject to the actual impact of the COVID-19 pandemic) in order to further strengthen the Group's balance sheet and liquidity.
The Board of Directors will return to discussions of the interim dividend once the crisis resolves and business activity on MMK Group's key sales markets resumes. We see the following indicators as signals of the situation and basic economy parameters returning to normal: COVID-19 situation normalises; business operations are back to normal across Russia; MMK's capacity utilisation rate is at least 70%; MMK's EBITDA margin is at least 20%.
Thank you for your understanding and continued support.
Chairman of MMK's
Board of Directors