Whitbread maintain dividend at 32.7pence per share

DividendMax Ltd.

Whitbread maintain dividend at 32.7pence per share

Whitbread's dividend policy is to grow the dividend broadly in line with earnings across the cycle. An interim dividend of 32.7 pence per share (H1 FY19: 32.7p), flat versus last year, amounting to £44 million, was declared by the Board on 21 October 2019. The dividend will be paid on 13 December 2019 to all shareholders on the register at the close of business on 8 November 2019. Shareholders will again be offered the option to participate in a dividend re-investment plan.

Other financial highlights include:

Revenue broadly flat at £1,078 million, supported by contribution from new capacity

Total UK accommodation sales declined (0.6)% and like-for-like accommodation sales declined (3.6)%, impacted by continued weak regional market conditions 

Adjusted profit before tax decreased by (4.1)% in-line with like-for-like sales decline, a decrease in operating margin offset with a benefit from lower finance costs

Continued disciplined cost management delivering ongoing efficiency benefits

Statutory profit for the period (incl. Costa in H1 FY19) decreased from £234 million by (26.3)% to £172 million in-line with adjusted profit before tax and due to the sale of Costa, contributing to £47 million of profit in H1 FY19

Discretionary free cash flow of £197 million (H1 FY19 includes Costa)

Reduction in return on capital to 10.8% due to weaker market conditions and capital investment 

Retained strong balance sheet following completion of £2.5 billion capital return programme

Companies mentioned