Premier Foods last paid a dividend to shareholders in 2008. Over recent years, the Company has made significant progress in delivering against its branded growth model strategy and so in turn, reducing Net debt to a level that would enable the payment of a dividend under the Group's financing arrangements. In February 2021, the Company completed a capital reduction which will provide greater flexibility in how the Company manages its capital resources going forward. Subject to shareholder approval, the directors have proposed a final dividend of 1.0 pence for the 53 weeks ended 3 April 2021 (2019/20: nil), payable on 30 July 2021 to shareholders on the register at the close of business on 2 July 2021. The shares will go ex-dividend on 1 July 2021. Under the dividend matching agreement with the Company's pension schemes, for up to £5 million paid to shareholders as a dividend, a payment of 50 pence for every £1 paid to shareholders is payable to the pension schemes. For any dividend paid between £5m and £10m, there is no matching payment made to the pensions schemes and for any dividend paid above £10m, the 50 pence: £1 matching arrangement, as described above, recommences.
Other financial highlights include:
Branded revenue up +13.6% in full year and ahead +7.0% in Q4
Trading profit increased +11.9% to £148.3m after increased marketing investment and incremental Covid costs
Net debt/EBITDA,3,11 (pre-IFRS 16) reduced to 1.9x, the Group's lowest ever leverage
Repaid £190m Floating rate notes in FY20/21 reducing interest costs by c.£10m p.a.; plus ratings agency upgrades
Combined pensions surplus of £539.9m
New RCF facility to 2024 and launching offer of new £300m 5 year Senior Secured Fixed Rate Notes