The Daily Mail Board reconsidered the dividend policy carefully during the year and, despite the weaker profit outcome and deteriorating global economy, resolved to leave it unchanged. The policy is to grow the dividend per share in real terms and, in the medium term, to distribute around one-third of the Group's adjusted earnings. It aims to deliver a reliable and predictable dividend growth trajectory, unaffected by fluctuations in earnings or capital gains, while also being sufficiently prudent to make significant investments in the long-term future growth of the business.
The decision to recommend a real increase in the dividend reflects the Board's conviction in the appropriateness of the policy and DMGT's ability to deliver earnings growth over time, underpinned by a strong balance sheet.
The full year dividend increased by 1% to 24.1p.
Other financial highlights include:
Group results down due to Covid-19 pandemic and planned B2B investment:
o Revenue of £1,211m, down 10% underlying
o Cash operating income of £110m, 9% margin
o Adjusted operating profit of £90m, 7% margin
o Adjusted profit before tax of £72m, down 36% underlying
Adjusted EPS down 32%; reflects reduced profits partially offset by reduced number of shares
Statutory revenue £1,203m, statutory profit before tax £52m and statutory EPS 83.1p
Strong financial position maintained: pro forma net cash £168m and £373m of committed undrawn bank facilities; statutory net cash £185m
B2B subscription businesses delivered resilient performance, with underlying revenue growth from Insurance Risk, US Property Information and EdTech
Consumer Media, UK Property Information and Events & Exhibitions' results impacted by Covid-19 following a good first five months
Active portfolio management continued with £113m acquisitions and investments and £311m disposals in FY 2020:
o Recent increased investment in Cazoo; fully diluted holding c.20% as at 7 October 2020, £409m valuation
Suspension of formal guidance continues