Following the outbreak of COVID-19, in May 2020 the Personal Group Board took the decision to reduce the second quarter dividend as a measure of prudence amidst the uncertain trading environment resulting from the pandemic. In November 2020, the Company also announced that, in light of further national lockdown restrictions and ongoing uncertainty at that time, any payment of its fourth and final dividend in respect of its financial year ending 31 December 2020 would be made following publication of its audited full year results in March 2021.
As noted with the release of these accounts, a final dividend of 5.1p will be paid to shareholders on 12 May 2021.
They also announced in November 2020 that from 2021 the Board has decided to adopt a more typical dividend payment profile with two dividends scheduled each year following the respective half-year and full year financial reporting periods. This revised profile will enable the Board to have greater clarity on operational results for the year before declaring the dividend to be paid. They will seek to continue dividend payments in line with the historic pay-out ratio over the past three years.
Other financial highlights include:
Group revenue resilient at £71.5m (2019: £70.9m) despite the COVID-19 impact, owing to a high level of recurring revenue and diverse income streams
Adjusted EBITDA, the Group's key performance metric, of £10.1m (2019: £11.0m)
Statutory profit before tax of £8.6m (2019: £10.5m, with the benefit of a £1.3m tax provision release)
Basic EPS of 22.1p (2019: 28.4p)
Strong balance sheet and liquidity with cash and deposits as at year end of £20.2m, and no debt