The Tate & Lyle Board recognises the importance of dividends to shareholders and operates a progressive dividend policy. Due to the uncertainty caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the Board decided not to increase either the final dividend for the 2020 financial year or the interim dividend for the 2021 financial year. Given this year's robust performance, the Board is recommending a 1.2p or 5.8% increase in the final dividend to 22.0p (2020 - 20.8p) per share, bringing the full year dividend to 30.8p per share (2020 - 29.6p), an increase of 4.1%. This increase brings dividends back to a level consistent with the Board's progressive dividend policy, notwithstanding the pandemic.
The final dividend is subject to approval by shareholders at the AGM on 29 July 2021. Subject to shareholder approval, the final dividend will be due and payable on 6 August 2021 to all shareholders on the Register of Members on 25 June 2021. In addition to the cash dividend option, shareholders will continue to be offered a Dividend Reinvestment Plan alternative.
Other financial highlights include:
Food & Beverage Solutions profit +12% to £177m; +3% volume and +6% revenue
Sucralose profit -9% to £55m reflecting pricing pressure and higher production costs
Primary Products profit +5% to £158m with Sweeteners and Starches -13%, Commodities +98%
Group adjusted profit before tax +6%
Adjusted diluted EPS +12%, benefitting from lower effective tax rate of 14.3% (2020: 17.9%)
Group statutory diluted EPS +3% after exceptional costs to explore separating businesses and for productivity
Adjusted free cash flow +£3m higher at £250m
Net debt £34m lower at £417m; Net Debt to EBITDA ratio 0.8x
Strong return on capital employed of 17.2%, a 30bps decrease due to the short-term impact of acquisitions