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UDG Plc have proposed a 5% increase in final dividend to 12.34 $ cent per share, yielding a full year dividend increase of 5% to 16.80 $ cent per share.

Investment Tools Ltd.
UDG Plc have proposed a 5% increase in final dividend to 12.34 $ cent per share, yielding a full year dividend increase of 5% to 16.80 $ cent per share.

The directors are proposing a final dividend of 12.34 $ cent per share representing an increase of 5% on the 2018 final dividend of 11.75 $ cent per share. This represents 5% growth in the total dividend for the year to 16.80 $ cent per share. This continues the Group's 30 year history of consistently increasing dividends.

Other financial highlights include:

Adjusted diluted earnings per share (EPS) increased by 5% (7% on a constant currency basis, at the top end of the Group's FY19 EPS guidance).

Underlying net revenue growth of 5%. Total net revenue increased by 1% on constant currency basis.

Underlying adjusted operating profit growth of 5%. Total adjusted operating profit increased by 9% on a constant currency basis, reflecting continued growth in Ashfield and Sharp.

o Ashfield's operating profit increased by 13% on a constant currency basis driven by a combination of underlying growth in Ashfield Communications and Advisory, and the benefit of acquisitions.

o Sharp's operating profit increased by 8% on a constant currency basis driven by the continued strong performance of Sharp US.

Adjusted net operating margin increased from 13.1% to 14.2%. 

Strong cash flow performance with a positive working capital inflow and free cash flow conversion rate of 83%.

Net debt to EBITDA of 0.4x, with $80.5 million net debt at 30 September 2019. 

$137 million committed to strategic acquisitions in 2019, strengthening the Group's capabilities and service offering:

o Putnam Associates and Incisive Health acquired in May 2019, and have performed well since acquisition.

o Acquired Canale Communications, a US based scientific strategic communications agency, for up to $31 million, post year end in November 2019.

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