Smiths Group maintains a progressive dividend policy, aiming to increase dividends in line with long-term underlying growth in earnings and cash-flow. The policy enables them to retain sufficient cash-flow to finance investment in the drivers of growth to meet our financial obligations. In setting the level of dividend payments, the Board considers prevailing economic conditions and future investment plans, along with the objective to maintain minimum dividend cover of around 2 times.
In FY2020 the Board recommended a total dividend of 35.0p per share for the year. This included a delayed interim dividend of 11.0p. The Board has declared an interim FY2021 dividend of 11.7p per share, up 6% reflecting the Board's confidence in the Group's performance and improving trajectory. The interim dividend will be paid on 14 May 2021 to shareholders on the register at close of business on 9 April 2021.
The Company offers a Dividend Reinvestment Plan (DRIP). To participate in the DRIP shareholders must submit their election notice to be received by 23 April 2021 (the Election Date). Elections received after the Election Date will apply to dividends paid after 14 May 2021. Purchases under the DRIP are made on or as soon as practicable after the dividend payment date and at prevailing market prices.