Statutory profit before tax increased by 7.0% to £41.3m (2015: £38.6m) on net revenue of £258.6m (2015: £260.9m). No exceptional items were recognised in the period to January 2016.
Adjusted* PBIT increased by 7.0% to £42.6m (2015: £39.8m) with adjusted* revenue increasing by 0.9% to £257.4m (2015: £255.2m).
Robust financial position retained:
o Gross margin increased by 87 bps to 46.8%
o Net margin* increased by 14 bps to 16.3%
o Reported earnings per share increased by 14% to 29.63p (2015: 26.00p)
o Net debt position at year end £11.3m (Net debt / EBITDA ratio 0.2 times)
Proposed final dividend of 9.97p per share (2015: 9.01p) to give a proposed total dividend for the year of 13.33p per share, an increase of 10.0% over the prior year.
Maintained market share of total soft drinks in a challenging UK market
International business volume growth of 40%
Further significant investment in assets, infrastructure and systems
Strong performance from Funkin Limited in first year of ownership
Roger White, Chief Executive, commented:
"We have delivered a creditable financial performance in difficult market conditions over the past 12 months through continued tight cost control, rigorous cash management, executional improvement and further investment in our brands, assets and people. We delivered a significant change programme across the year which has further strengthened our operational and process capability, providing a robust and flexible platform to underpin our long-term success.
Market conditions in the core UK soft drinks market are not expected to substantially change as we look forward. Top-line growth remains under pressure and changes in consumer preferences offer challenges and opportunities in equal measure. Although the details of the Chancellor's proposed soft drinks levy are still to be consulted upon, we believe our combination of brand strength, ongoing product reformulation and consumer driven innovation will allow us to minimise the financial impact on the business at the proposed point of implementation in April 2018.
We have, over many years, invested in our strong and flexible operating model and believe we are well placed to continue to deliver consistent long-term shareholder value."