United Utilities announce an interim dividend of 14.20p per share, an increase of 3.2%
The United Utilities Board has proposed an interim dividend of 14.20 pence per ordinary share, an increase of 3.2 per cent, in line with their policy of targeting an annual growth rate of at least RPI inflation through to 2020.
Other financial highlights include:
Revenue - revenue was up £19 million, at £936 million, largely reflecting their allowed regulatory revenue changes.
Operating profit - underlying operating profit was up £24 million, at £392 million. This reflects the £19 million increase in revenue and a £13 million reduction in infrastructure renewals expenditure (IRE) partly offset by an £8 million increase in depreciation. Reported operating profit was up £44 million, at £383 million, impacted by the same movements as underlying operating profit as well as the impact of one off costs of £25 million associated with the extreme hot and dry weather incurred in the prior year.
Capex - total net regulatory capital investment in the first half of the year was £323 million including £68 million of IRE. They are on track to deliver a total of around £700 million for the full year, including around £190 million of the £350 million additional investment of outperformance sharing which was not anticipated at the time of the PR14 settlement. Their five-year AMP6 regulatory capex programme is around £3.9 billion including this additional investment.
Profit before tax - underlying profit before tax was up £4 million, at £244 million, largely reflecting the increase in underlying operating profit partly offset by an £11 million increase in the underlying net finance expense and a £6 million share of losses of joint ventures compared with a £3 million share of profits in the first half of last year. The increase in the underlying net finance expense was mainly due to the impact of higher RPI inflation on their index-linked debt. Reported profit before tax was £195 million, reflecting fair value movements and other adjusting items as outlined in the underlying profit measures tables below.
Profit after tax - underlying profit after tax was up by £1 million, at £198 million. Reported profit after tax was lower at £159 million, mainly reflecting fair value movements.
Capital structure - the group has a robust capital structure with gearing of 62 per cent as at 30 September 2019 (measured as group net debt to 'shadow' regulatory capital value, or RCV). Their shadow RCV adjusts for actual spend and was £11.9 billion as at 30 September 2019. This gearing level is comfortably within their target range of 55 per cent to 65 per cent, supporting a solid investment grade credit rating. United Utilities Water Limited (UUW) has long-term credit ratings of A3 on stable outlook from Moody's, A- on negative outlook from Standard & Poor's and a senior debt rating of A- on stable outlook from Fitch.
Financing headroom - the group benefits from headroom to cover its projected needs into 2021, enhanced by the recent raising of new finance. At 30 September 2019, the group had headroom of £716 million consisting of cash and undrawn committed funding, and having taken account of debt maturities due in the next 12 months. This headroom provides flexibility in terms of when and how further debt finance is raised to help refinance maturing debt and support the delivery of their regulatory capital investment programme.
Begbies Traynor declare an increased interim dividend of 0.9p (2018: 0.8p), an increase of 13%, which builds on the increases over the two previous years and reflects their confidence in sustaining their financial track record of earnings growth. They remain committed to a long-term progressive dividend policy which takes account of the market outlook, earnings growth and investment plans.Read more
The Photo-Me Board is declaring a maintained interim dividend of 3.71 pence per Ordinary Share (H1 2019: 3.71 pence per share). This is line with the Board's intention to maintain a total dividend of 8.44 pence per ordinary share for the current financial year ending 30 April 2020.Read more
Since flotation in November 2003, RWS has pursued a progressive dividend policy. The highly cash generative business model and modest capex requirements have allowed for rapid debt repayment, acquisitions, continued organic investment in the business and an increasing dividend.Read more
Diversified Gas & Oil PLC (AIM: DGOC), the U.S. based owner and operator of natural gas, natural gas liquids, oil wells and midstream assets, is pleased to announce that the Board has declared an interim dividend of 3.50 cents per share in respect of the third quarter to the period ended 30 September 2019 (Q3 2018: 3.30 cents).Read more
In line with its policy of providing a progressive dividend, having regard to both underlying profit and cash generation and to sustainability through the economic cycle, the Ashtead Group Plc Board has increased their interim dividend to 7.15p per share (2018: 6.5p per share). This will be paid on 5 February 2020 to shareholders on the register on 17 January 2020.Read more
The Board continues to adopt a progressive dividend policy which is balanced with holding sufficient funds for future investment and their regulatory capital requirements. The Board has proposed a final ordinary dividend of 3.33p per share which takes the total ordinary dividend for the year to 4.83p per share, representing an increase (excluding the special dividend in the previous year) of 31% on the previous year. The final ordinary dividend will be paid, subject to shareholder approval at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) on 22 January 2020, to shareholders on the register at the close of business on 10 January 2020.Read more
With the Group delivering a weaker performance in FY 2019 and some key industrial markets remaining weak, the final dividend will be held flat at 46.14p/share (FY 2018: 46.14p/share), with dividend cover at 1.8x (FY 2018: 2.2x). With year end net cash not exceeding the £85m threshold, no special dividend is proposed.Read more
In line with Clipper's dividend policy and reflecting the Group's earnings growth, the Board is pleased to announce an interim dividend of 3.5 pence per share, which will be paid on 6 January 2020 to shareholders on the register at 13 December 2019. This represents an increase of 9.4% (0.3 pence per share) compared to the interim dividend of 3.2 pence paid in January 2019.Read more
Smith (DS) declares an interim dividend for this half year of 5.4 pence per share (H1 2018/19: 5.2 pence per share). This represents an increase of 4%, demonstrating the confidence of the Board in the outlook for the Group. The dividend will be paid on 1 May 2020 to ordinary shareholders on the register at the close of business on 14 April 2020.Read more
In line with Stock Spirits Group plc progressive dividend policy, their proposed final dividend results in a total dividend for the year up +5.1% on the prior period 'enhanced' dividend, which was paid for the 9 month prior period. The final proposed dividend is 6.31 €cents per share (final dividend for the 9 month to Sept 2018: 6.01 €cents). In total for the year, this results in dividends of 8.94 €cents per share (9 month to Sept 2018: 8.51 €cents per share).Read more