The Morgan Advanced Materials Board is recommending a final dividend, subject to shareholder approval, of 7.0 pence per share on the Ordinary share capital of the Group, payable on 22 May 2020 to Ordinary shareholders on the register at the close of business on 1 May 2020.
Together with the interim dividend of 4.0 pence per share paid on 22 November 2019, this final dividend, if approved by shareholders, brings the total distribution for the year to 11.0 pence per share (2018: 11.0 pence). A total dividend of 11.0 pence per share represents a dividend cover of headline EPS 2.5x in 2019 (2018: 2.4x).
The Board has held the dividend flat as it looks to rebuild dividend cover.
Other financial highlights include:
• A year of further strategic and financial progress.
• Revenue growth of 0.8% on an organic constant-currency basis - third year of successive organic growth.
• Strong growth in our semiconductor and electronics, chemical and petrochemical, healthcare and aerospace segments more than offset declines in industrial and automotive markets.
• Group headline operating profit margin of 12.8%, an improvement of 70bps from organic revenue growth and the ongoing benefit of efficiency actions.
• Headline EPS* growth of 4.9% reflecting improvement in operating profit.
• Free cash flow* improved by £10.7 million to £59.2 million, with improved working capital performance.
• Further reductions in leverage continued the strong trajectory of the last three years.