Reflecting the continued confidence in the Group's prospects, as well as our ambition to build dividend cover, the Board is recommending that the final dividend is increased by 1% to 26.2p (2018: 26.0p) making a total dividend for the year of 41.1p, an increase of 1% over last year's 40.6p.
Other financial highlights include:
Results ahead of market expectations.
Profit improvement initiatives help 60bps second half margin improvement.
Operating cash flow 35% higher than 2018.
£27m rationalisation savings for 2019, ahead of expectations.
Structural re-organisation plans progressing well.
Rationalisation charges for 2020 expected to be c.£45m; savings c.£25m.
Commercial cultural shift driven by Growth Accelerator gaining traction.
New customer-focused organisational structures bedding-down well.