An interim dividend of 2.67p per share for the half year to 30 November 2019 (2018: 2.67p) has been declared totalling £11.2 million (2018: £11.2 million) and is payable on 6 April 2020 to shareholders on the register at the close of business on 14 February 2020. This interim dividend has not been recognised in this half yearly report as it was declared after the end of the reporting period. The proposed final dividend for the year ended 31 May 2019 of 5.61p per share, totalling £23.5 million, was approved by shareholders at the Annual General Meeting of the Company and paid on 30 September 2019.
Other financial highlights include:
Challenging market conditions across key geographies led to a decline in Group revenue of 4.3%.
Adjusted operating profit of £30.3m, 13.0% lower, resulting from losses in Nigeria and lower profits in the UK and Australia offset by growth in Indonesia.
Adjusted profit before tax of £28.0m, a reduction of 13.1% reflecting reduced operating profit.
Reported profit before tax grew to £34.7m or +34.5%, driven by exceptional profit on disposal of our business in Greece and lower exceptional charges than in the prior period.
Strategy announced in July 2019 delivering initial progress - two disposals announced, stable revenue in Focus Brands and initial action to reduce overhead costs.
As a result, balance sheet further strengthened, with net debt of 1.5x EBITDA.