The Chemring Group Board is recommending a final dividend in respect of the year ended 31 October 2019 of 2.4p (2018: 2.2p) per ordinary share. With the interim dividend of 1.2p per share (2018: 1.1p), this results in a total dividend of 3.6p (2018: 3.3p) per share.
If approved, the final dividend will be paid on 24 April 2020 to shareholders on the register on 3 April 2020. In accordance with accounting standards, this final dividend has not been recorded as a liability as at 31 October 2019. Overall performance slightly ahead of their initial expectations, reflecting strong Sensors & Information sector performance.
Other financial highlights include:
Safety remains our key priority and, together with enhancing operational stability and efficiency, is driving investment in the Group's manufacturing infrastructure.
Completed sale of Chemring Military Products and Chemring Defence and closure of Chemring Prime Contracts. Announced sale of Chemring Ordnance on 21 November 2019.
Australian subsidiary, offline for the majority of the year to enable changeover to F-35 countermeasure manufacturing, received two significant contracts, as previously announced.
Continued progress on various US Programs of Record. Further delivery orders received under the HMDS IDIQ; successful critical design review on AVCAD led to a further 75 unit order.
Strong order intake in Countermeasures & Energetics resulted in a Group order book for the continuing business at year end of £449m (2018: £394m), £287m currently due as revenue in FY20, approximately 76% coverage of FY20 targeted revenue.
Net debt decreased year on year, reflecting strong operating cash generation offset by the start of investment in the Tennessee facility. Net debt: EBITDA fell to 1.24x (2018: 1.64x).
Board's expectations for FY20 trading performance remain unchanged, with the usual seasonal H2 weighting.