Financial overview

Preliminary Results for the year ended 31st January 2017

Financial highlights

31st January 2017 31st January 2016 Change
Profit before tax from continuing operations £193.3m £176.2m 9.7%
Underlying profit before tax1 £187.4m £177.4m 5.6%
Basic earnings per share from continuing operations 14.1p 13.3p 6.0%
Proposed full year dividend 8.5p 7.2p 18.1%
Available operating cash flow2 £217.6m £178.1m 22.2%
Net debt3 £464.8m £547.7m (15.1)%
Debt ratio (net debt to EBITDA) 1.9x 2.3x (0.4)x

  • Consistent delivery of profit growth
    • Underlying profit before tax, excluding derivative gains and the Ogden discount rate impact increased by 5.6%
  • Sustained cash generation, leading to further deleveraging
    • Now within medium-term target range of between 1.5 and 2.0 times
  • 18.1% growth in proposed full year dividend, equating to a payout ratio of 62%4 (FY 2016: 57%5)

1 Profit before tax excluding derivatives and Ogden impact

2 Net cash flow from operating activities after capital expenditure but before tax and interest paid and non-trading items

3 Bank debt and borrowings, excluding any overdrafts held by restricted trading subsidiaries, net of available cash

4 Based on profit after tax excluding derivatives and Ogden impact

5 Excluding the one-off impact of Acromas tax losses