The Balfour Beatty Board is committed to a sustainable ordinary dividend which is expected to grow over time, targeted at a pay-out ratio of 40% of underlying profit after tax excluding gain on disposal of Investments assets.
The Board has therefore recommended a final dividend of 1.5 pence per share for the year ended 31 December 2020. There was no interim dividend, so the total dividend for the year is also 1.5 pence per share.
Other financial highlights include:
Underlying profit from operations (PFO) at £51 million (2019: £221 million), after decision to repay UK Job Retention Scheme
Strong cash performance with average net cash at £527 million (2019: £325 million), exceeding previous guidance
Higher quality order book increased by 15% to £16.4 billion (2019: £14.3 billion); provides clear medium-term visibility
Directors' valuation of Investments portfolio stable at £1.1 billion (2019: £1.1 billion)
New Group sustainability strategy with ambition to go beyond net zero carbon by 2040
Re-iterating 2021 PFO outlook for earnings-based businesses to be in line with 2019 Board recommended a final dividend of 1.5 pence, in accordance with new sustainable dividend policy
Initial share buyback programme increased to £150 million in 2021, as part of new capital allocation framework