- Revenue grew by 3.5% in the first half of the year, and by 2.7% on a like-for-like basis
- Adjusted operating profit 2.1% lower at £190m largely due to the challenging Plumbing & Heating market and recent investments, including in information systems
- Free cash flow of £188m was generated, with strong cash conversion of 99%
- Net debt of £377m, lower than June 2016 by £133m, and in line with December 2016
- Interim dividend of 15.5p, an increase of 1.6% reflecting strong cash performance
John Carter - Chief Executive Officer said:
"We executed our plan well and delivered a solid overall performance in the first half of 2017 against a challenging market backdrop of pronounced input cost inflation and market volatility. The robust growth and outperformance in our Contracts and Consumer divisions build on strong customer propositions and successful investments in those businesses.
In the first half of the year, the Group made a conscious decision to recover input cost inflation selectively through disciplined pricing activity. Whilst this had some impact on trading volume, it enabled us to maintain Group gross margins and positions the business well for the future.
Today we have announced a comprehensive transformation plan in our Plumbing & Heating division which is designed to stabilise performance and to create more options to maximise shareholder value. Whilst we remain cautious on the macro-economic outlook for the second half, the Group remains focused on executing the clear plans it has in place which will deliver strong cash generation and maximise returns."