The Directors of RWS have approved an interim dividend of 1.75p per share, maintained at the same level as in 2019. This reflects both the Group's strong financial position, its cash generative business model and the Board's confidence in its future prospects.
This dividend will be paid on 17 July 2020 to those shareholders on the register as at 26 June 2020, and the ex-dividend date is 25 June 2020. The Group remains committed to a progressive dividend policy, which has been followed in every year since flotation in November 2003.
Other financial highlights include:
Life Sciences was the best performer of the three RWS divisions followed by Moravia and IP Services. As previously stated, IP Services faced a very tough comparative with H1 2019 which had benefited from the one-off impact of procedural changes to improve patent grant efficiency at the European Patent Office in 2018.
Strong new client wins, particularly in IP Services, awaiting onboarding in H2 albeit moving slowly due to Covid-19.
The UK Government announced that the UK will not participate in the proposed EU Unitary Patent. A judgement in the German constitutional court has currently blocked participation by Germany.
Substantial reduction in net debt to £34.5m (H1 2019: £63.9m), while cash conversion has improved to 85% (H1 2019: 84%). Strong cash position of £28.3m (H1 2019: £27.4m).