After the impact of Covid-19 and the lockdown became a reality, the Morses club Group announced that it would be postponing its decision to make a final dividend payment whilst it assessed the impacts of the pandemic. During this time, they have extended their loan facilities and cash flows have exceeded expectations as they adapted, and continue to adapt, to the ever-changing demands on the business. They did not furlough any staff or take on any debt or other support packages offered by HM Government during the crisis.
As a result of this and subject to shareholder approval at the General Meeting on 7 January 2021, the Morses Board proposes to pay a final dividend of 1.0p per Ordinary Share (FY19: 5.2p) payable on 12 February 2021 to shareholders on the register at the close of business on 15 January 2021.
This payment is in addition to the interim dividend already paid of 2.6p per Ordinary Share, making a total dividend for the year of 3.6p (FY19: 7.8p). This represents a total payment for the year of 38% of normalised adjusted profits after tax which is below their normal dividend policy of paying between 50% and 60% of normalised adjusted profits after tax. However, the Board has noted that the profit is largely before Covid-19 and believes that they should remain particularly prudent in the current uncertain times.
Other financial highlights include:
Revenue increased by 14.3% to £133.7m (FY19: £117.0m)
Total credit issued to HCC customers was 2.2% lower at £174.2m (FY19: £178.1m). Total credit issued to all customers of £190.3m
Net loan book, after Covid-19 adjustment of £1.7m, reduced 0.3% to £72.8m
Normalised adjusted profit before tax of £15.5m (FY19: £22.0m)
Statutory profit before tax of £11.5m (FY19: £20.2m)
Normalised adjusted HCC profit before tax of £24.5m, an increase of 8.9% (FY19: £22.5m)
Statutory HCC profit before tax £21.2m is an increase of 2.4% (FY19: £20.7m)
Normalised adjusted loss before tax in Digital division of (£9.0m) as a result of enhancing scale and capability of recent acquisitions (FY19: (£0.5m))
Statutory loss before tax in Digital division (£9.7m) (FY19: (£0.5m))
Impairment as a percentage of revenue for the period, before the Covid-19 adjustment of £1.7m, was 26.0% (FY19: 22.4%)
HCC normalised adjusted return on assets of 31.1% (FY19: 25.4%)
Normalised adjusted EPS1 of 9.5p (FY19: 13.6p)
Statutory EPS of 7.3p (FY19: 12.5p)
Post balance sheet event estimated negative impact of Covid-19 (£5.2m) (FY19:£nil)
No staff furloughed nor any Government debt or other support packages accepted