The balance sheet remains strong with net debt of £549m at the end of July, although this was immediately before dividend payments in early August totalling £237m. Our balance sheet is financed by £788m of bonds and committed bank facilities of £550m after being recently increased and extended.
Last year we declared interim and final ordinary dividends totalling 150p. This year, based on current profit guidance, we anticipate a total of 159p which would maintain cover at 2.8 times. One third of the anticipated full year dividend, that is 53p per share, will be paid as an interim ordinary dividend on Monday 4 January 2016. Shares will trade ex-dividend from 10 December 2015 and the record date will be 11 December 2015.