Operational and strategic highlights:
Acceleration of like for like sales momentum in 2014 with revenue growth of 10.1% at constant currency
Strong underlying operating profit growth of 15.3% at constant currency
Fifth consecutive year of double-digit earnings growth2
Step-up in free cash flow generation
£181.5m returned to shareholders in 2014 through dividends and share buy backs
Reported sales £6.7bn (2013: £6.5bn)
Pre-exceptional PBT of £303.2m (2013: £274.6m)
Reported PBT £255.8m (2013: £266.1m)
Adjusted EPS growth of 15.4% to 50.2p (2013: 43.5p)
Operating cash flow of £405.8m (2013: £227.0m)
Return on capital employed of 25.6% (2013: 21.8%)
Recommended final dividend of 13.8p per share giving a total dividend for the year of 20.1p per share (2013: 17.4p), up 15.5%
André Lacroix, Group CEO of Inchcape plc, commented:
"Inchcape's strategic partnerships with the world's leading premium and luxury brands and differentiated Customer 1st strategy have enabled us to seize the exciting growth opportunities in the global automotive industry and to outperform through leveraging unique local drivers in a number of our important markets.
The acceleration of like for like sales momentum in 2014 has delivered a fifth consecutive year of double-digit earnings growth and a step-up in cash generation through our consistent operational discipline on costs and cash.
The Group's commitment to delivering value creation for our stakeholders is built on a foundation of disciplined capital allocation. We have invested in developing a strong digital presence, world-class IT infrastructure and state-of-the-art retail centres to support our organic growth. Inchcape's robust cash generation has enabled a further £181.5m to be returned to our shareholders in 2014 through dividends and share buy backs.
The Group has a track record of delivering sustainable earnings growth with a high return on capital employed and we believe our distinctive strength across primarily small and medium size markets in both Vehicle sales and Aftersales will continue to drive consistent returns for our shareholders. We have good visibility across our markets and categories and, notwithstanding an uncertain geopolitical environment in some of our markets, we expect to deliver a robust underlying constant currency performance in 2015."