Solid financial performance in line with expectations
Total revenue of £1.9bn, up 1.7%. Revenue in Smiths News was down 2.4%, slightly better than expected
Adjusted profit before tax of £60.7m up 7.4%, benefitting from a full year of Tuffnells, and underpinned by solid performances from both the News & Media and Education & Care divisions
Another year of strong cash generation, with free cash flow of £49.6m, up 24.6%
Final dividend of 6.5p up 3.2%, making a full year dividend of 9.5p, up 3.3%
Good progress on strategic and operational priorities
Continued strong performance of Tuffnells
Growing scale and capability in Pass My Parcel
Delivered £7m of business efficiencies across the Group, including £5m in Smiths News
Invested in operational capability and capacity, particularly in Pass My Parcel and Tuffnells
Closer collaboration between Smiths News and Tuffnells
Mark Cashmore, Group Chief Executive, commented:
"This has been a year of both strategic and operational progress for Connect Group. Tuffnells has delivered another strong performance, underpinning solid financial results for the Group. In addition, our confidence in the opportunity for us to succeed in the Click & Collect market has been reinforced by the growing scale and capability of Pass My Parcel.
In 2017, a particular focus will be on accelerating the collaboration between Smiths News and Tuffnells, whilst investing in our organic initiatives to support long-term sustainable profit growth."