Notwithstanding the uncertainty created by the Covid-19 pandemic, DCC has traded strongly during the first half of the financial year, has a very resilient business model and an extremely strong and liquid balance sheet. As with the prior year final dividend and having regard to all relevant considerations, the Board has decided to pay an interim dividend of 51.95 pence per share, which represents a 5.0% increase on the prior year interim dividend of 49.48 pence per share. This dividend will be paid on 9 December 2020 to shareholders on the register at the close of business on 20 November 2020.
Other financial highlights include:
Adjusted earnings per share up 7.0% to 117.9 pence
Excellent free cash flow generation, up £90.3 million on prior year, driven by a strong working capital performance
Notwithstanding the ongoing disruption caused by the pandemic, the Group committed approximately £90 million in capital to new acquisitions in both Europe and North America since May 2020. The Group remains very active from a development perspective
The Group balance sheet remains very strong and liquid, with net debt (excluding lease creditors) of £137 million at 30 September 2020, gross cash of approximately £1.5 billion and undrawn, committed bank facilities of £400 million. This excellent financial position will facilitate the continued growth and development of the Group
With Covid-19 related restrictions now increasing again generally, the outlook for all economies in which DCC operates remains very uncertain. However, DCC's diverse and resilient business model, the essential nature of the Group's products and services and its extremely strong balance sheet ensure that the Group is well placed to navigate this ongoing uncertainty and continue its growth and development into the future