Last year, with the onset of COVID-19, the DiscoverIE Board took the decision not to declare a final dividend for FY 2019/20. With an improving outlook by the third quarter, and strong cash flow, the Board reinstated dividends in November 2020 with a 6% increase in this year's interim dividend to 3.15p per share (H1 2019/20: 2.97p per share).
With the Group's performance continuing to improve, the Board is recommending a final dividend of 7.0p per share, giving a full year dividend of 10.15p per share, 6% higher than the pre-pandemic dividend for FY 2018/19 of 9.55p per share. This represents a cover against underlying earnings of 2.6 times (FY 2018/19: 2.8 times). The final dividend is payable on 3 August 2021 to shareholders registered on 11 June 2021. Since 2010, the annual dividend per share has doubled and the total dividend payment has increased by nearly 400%.
The Board believes that, as an acquisitive growth company, maintaining a progressive dividend policy is appropriate with a long term dividend cover of over three times against underlying earnings. This will enable them to fund both dividend growth and a higher level of investment in acquisitions from internally generated resources.