Polypipe Group Directors intend that the Group would pay the total annual dividend in two tranches, an interim dividend and a final dividend, to be announced at the time of announcement of the interim and preliminary results respectively, with the interim dividend being approximately one half of the prior year's final dividend. During the Covid-19 pandemic, as part of cash preservation measures, the Directors cancelled the final 2019 dividend, and no interim 2020 dividend was paid.
The Directors recognise the importance of dividends to shareholders and, following careful consideration and with the Group performing ahead of expectations, a final dividend of 4.8 pence per share is being recommended for payment on 26 May 2021 to shareholders on the register at the close of business on 23 April 2021. The ex-dividend date will be 22 April 2021.
Other financial highlights include:
Revenue decline of 10.9% reflecting unprecedented trading environment in Q2, followed by a strong recovery, with second half in line with prior year
Underlying operating profit severely impacted by reduced volumes in H1 and investment in Covid-19 measures; a much improved second half
Basic earnings per share of 8.5p
Focus on operational cash management with tight cost control
Continued strategic investment in business, capital expenditure of £25.1m
Capital raise of £120m in H1 to strengthen balance sheet allowing continued investment in new businesses, products and technology through the pandemic with Group pro forma leverage of 0.3x (2019: 1.6x) at the year end