The Company continued its quarterly dividend payment policy and is committed to a growing, progressive, fully covered dividend. The Company achieved an 8.8% increase in the dividend per share this year to 18.5 pence per share (2015:17 pence). It is particularly pleasing that the dividend is more than fully covered by profits realised throughout the year with coverage increasing to 144% (2015: 116%).
Dividend cover may be calculated on a per share basis or amount paid in sterling. The below table shows the dividend is fully covered in 2016 on both bases. The total dividend declared for this year was 18.5 pence (2015:17p) which totalled £33.9 million (2015: £18.1m) as set out in note 11 to the Financial statements. This compares to an EPRA adjusted profit of £47.1m (2015: £20.9m).
The Board has approved a dividend of 5 pence per share (2015: 4.5 pence) for the first quarterly payment in 2016/2017. This is a further +11.1% increase in the quarterly dividend payment and starts the new financial year with confidence.