The Bunzl Board is recommending a final dividend of 38.3p, 7.0% higher than the prior year, resulting in a full year dividend of 54.1p. This represents a 5.5% increase compared to the 2019 total dividend, and Bunzl's 28th consecutive year of dividend growth, with the Group remaining committed to ensuring sustainable dividend growth. With the Annual General Meeting held on 15 April 2020, during the heightened period of uncertainty in the early days of the pandemic, the final dividend for the year ended 31 December 2019 was no longer proposed by the Board at that meeting. However, following a better than expected trading performance, the Board decided to reinstate the final dividend for the year ended 31 December 2019 at the same level as originally proposed through the payment of an additional interim dividend for the year ended December 2019 which was paid on 16 November 2020.
Other financial highlights include:
Strong revenue growth of 9.4%, adjusted operating profit increase of 20.9% and rise in adjusted earnings per share of 26.6%, all at constant exchange rates
Continued strong cash conversion of 103%, with net debt to EBITDA of 1.5x times; substantial headroom for growth
Committed acquisition spend of £445 million, the second highest in Bunzl's history
Three further highly complementary acquisitions announced today; pipeline active
Repayment of employee-related government assistance and significantly increased charitable donations