The Bunzl board is recommending an interim dividend of 16.2p which represents 2.5% growth on the 2020 interim dividend and reflects the Group's commitment to ensuring sustainable dividend growth, with 28 years of consecutive dividend growth delivered to date. Since 2004 Bunzl has now returned £1.8 billion to shareholders through dividends and has committed £4.0 billion in acquisitions to support a growth strategy that has delivered an adjusted earnings per share compound annual growth rate of 11% over the period.
Other financial highlights include:
•Good revenue growth of 6.3% at constant exchange rates, supported by a strong recovery in the base business and acquisitions; Resilience through the pandemic, with underlying revenueⱡ 5.7% higher than in the first half of 2019
•Adjusted operating profit increase of 14.7% at constant exchange rates and corresponding rise in adjusted earnings per share of 18.1%; Reported operating profit up 8.8% and reported basic earnings per share up 13.8%
•Continued strong cash generation with cash conversion of 100%, and net debt to EBITDA of 1.4 times with substantial headroom for acquisition growth
•Two further acquisitions announced today, taking the total to eight acquisitions year to date; pipeline remains active