7% increase in profit before tax
11% increase in year on year interest income
61% growth in dividend per share
7% increase in EPS
I cannot help but feel a sense of déjà vu as I write this as market conditions in 2015 have followed almost exactly the same pattern as 2014. In the first half of the year market sentiment was positive with the FTSE 100 share index briefly breaking through the 7,000 point barrier in April and May. This in turn led to healthy trade volumes across the market. During the second half of the year concerns about the Chinese economy and the impact of the fall in oil prices have dominated investors' thoughts. Prices have fallen across all market sectors and trade volumes declined.
In spite of a difficult second half in 2015 I am pleased to report another record year of profits. I remain cautious about our short term performance given continuing market uncertainty and the low interest rate environment. Over the medium to long term we believe the business is well positioned to continue to grow and further improve our financial results. At the time of writing we have several enquiries in the pipeline for our outsourcing service, some of whom would immediately add significantly to our trade volumes and cash balance under administration. The interest in this service reflects a market reputation of being able to deliver in a consistent and cost effective manner for market participants. This fits with the overall Jarvis model of ensuring that we do what we say we will do and do it at a competitive price. The investment we have made in the business in recent years plays a key part in supporting that delivery and future growth.
We have this year paid out a special dividend of 10p as cash reserves in the business were continuing to build up. In addition we have purchased and will continue to purchase shares to hold in treasury where we feel the purchase price will increase returns to shareholders. The decision to pay the special dividend was made after considering other investment options for the business and reflects a business model that continues to be highly cash generative.
As I have stated before the continuing success of the business reflects successful investment in infrastructure, a focus on what the business is good at and managing the risks that any business such as ours faces. To do this requires an excellent group of people and I would like to thank all members of the Jarvis team for their continuing hard work.