The Board has declared an increase in the interim dividend of 10% to 4.26 pence per share (2016: 3.87p), reflecting its confidence in the performance and future prospects of the business. The interim dividend has grown by over 40% since its re-introduction six years ago. Our dividend policy is to pay a dividend covered two times by Group earnings.
First half year basic earnings per share were 13.0 pence (2016: 10.9p). The dividend will be paid on 22 September 2017 to shareholders on the register at close of business on 1 September 2017.