ThFerguson e Board decided to withdraw the interim dividend for the year ended July 31, 2020 which was due for payment on April 30, 2020 due to the significant uncertainty around the impact and duration of the COVID-19 disruption.
Since the end of the financial year, the Directors have proposed a final ordinary dividend of $466 million (208.2 cents per share) which effectively reinstates the previously withdrawn interim dividend. The dividend is subject to approval by shareholders at the Annual General Meeting and is therefore not included in the balance sheet as a liability at July 31, 2020.
Dividends are declared in US dollars and paid in both pounds sterling and US dollars. For those shareholders paid in pounds sterling, the exchange rate used to translate the declared value was set in advance of the payment date. As a result of foreign exchange rate movements between these dates, the total amount paid (shown in the Group cash flow statement) may be different to that stated above.
Other financial highlights include:
- Ongoing revenue 2.0% ahead of last year with continued market share gains in the US.
- US revenue growth of 2.7% and underlying trading profit growth of 5.2%.
- Good gross margin and cost control ensured trading profit growth outpaced revenue growth.
- Total basic earnings per share 11.2% lower due to higher effective tax rate from previously announced tax
reform and exceptional discontinued disposal gains in the prior year.
- Excellent operating cash generation and the Group has maintained a strong balance sheet and liquidity position.
- Invested $351 million in 6 acquisitions before pausing activity in March.
- Bill Brundage, current CFO of Ferguson Enterprises to succeed Mike Powell as Group CFO on November 1, 2020
as announced separately today. Mike will step down on October 31, 2020.