Since the end of the financial year, the Directors have proposed a final ordinary dividend of $332 million (145.1 cents per share). The dividend is subject to approval by shareholders at the Annual General Meeting and is therefore not included in the balance sheet as a liability at 31 July 2019.
The interim, special and final dividends for the year ended 31 July 2018 and the interim dividend for the year ended 31 July 2019 were declared in US dollars and paid in both pounds sterling and US dollars. For those shareholders paid in pounds sterling, the exchange rate used to translate the declared value was set in advance of the payment date. As a result of foreign exchange rate movements between these dates, the total amount paid (shown in the Group cash flow statement) will be different to that stated above.
Other financial highlights include:
− Ongoing revenue at constant currency 7.9% ahead of last year. US organic revenue growth of 6.2% with continued market share gains.
− Within our US Blended Branches network organic revenue growth was consistent across geographies at about 6%.
− US Waterworks business generated strong organic revenue growth of 6.7%.
− Good control of gross margins and costs ensured strong profit delivery.
− Ongoing trading profit of $1,601 million was 7.5% ahead of last year at constant currency.
− Canada trading profit flat in constant currency despite challenging market conditions.
− UK ongoing trading profit ahead in constant currency, preparing for demerger.
− Completed 15 acquisitions for $657 million.
− Strong cash generation, net debt : adjusted EBITDA ratio of 0.7x.
− Completed $150 million of $500 million share buy back announced in June 2019.