Despite the underlying profit before tax being down year-on-year, the Board is proposing to increase the interim dividend by 0.05p (2.9%) to 1.80p, which is in line with our stated dividend policy of cover being between 1.5 and 2.0 times underlying earnings per share.
The interim dividend is expected to be paid on 29 November 2019 to those shareholders registered at close of business on 1 November 2019. The ex-dividend date will be 31 October 2019.
Other financial highlights include:
Gross profit was £17.2m, in line with prior period and stronger than levels anticipated at time of AGM
Underlying profit before tax of £3.0m, a year-on-year decrease, reflecting investment in overheads for future growth
Statutory profit before tax up 6.8% to £2.8m
Basic EPS up 13.9% to 4.1p; underlying EPS of 4.3p, down 30.6% on the prior year
Net cash (excluding JetCard cash) increased to £4.3m from £2.0m at 31 January 2019