Due to the impact of COVID-19, the Marshalls Board did not declare an interim dividend in 2020. However, the payment of dividends continues to be a key priority for capital allocation and a final dividend of 4.30 pence per share for the year ended 31 December 2020 was paid to shareholders of the Company on 1 July 2021. The Group maintains a progressive dividend policy with the objective of achieving a dividend cover of two times earnings over the business cycle. The intention is to increase dividends in line with earnings.
The Group has declared an interim dividend of 4.70 pence per share, which reflects the recovery in profitability and the strong cash generation in the six months ended 30 June 2021. The dividend will be paid on 1 December 2021 to shareholders on the register at the close of business on 22 October 2021.
Other financial highlights include:
Half year revenue of £298.1 million (2020: £210.5 million) - up 42% against 2020 and up 6% against 2019
o Continued strong growth in Domestic - up 54% against 2020 and up 17% against 2019
o Public Sector and Commercial sales growth up 40% against 2020 and up 1% against 2019 (3% on a like-for-like basis)
o International sales growth of 11% against 2020 and 27% against 2019
Profit before tax up 5% against 2019
o Operating margin in line with 2019 at 13.8% (2019: 13.9%)
Strong balance sheet, with a flexible capital structure and a clear capital allocation policy
o Reported net debt of £52.4 million (2020: £98.9 million; 2019: £97.7 million)
o Net debt of £7.6 million on a pre-IFRS 16 basis (2020: £53.9 million; 2019: £55.6 million)
o Operating cash flow ("OCF") to EBITDA at 93% for the twelve months ended 30 June 2021