At the AGM on 20 May 2021, a deferred final dividend of 4 pence per share for 2019 was declared and approved by Bakkavor Group PLC, with the dividend being paid on 25 May 2021.
As previously reported, no dividends were awarded in 2020, however, the Group will be re-instating an interim dividend as the Board is encouraged by the improvement in trading, reduction in leverage ratio towards our medium-term target and is satisfied that the Group has adequate liquidity headroom.
The Board has therefore resolved to pay an interim dividend of 2.64 pence per Ordinary share. The interim dividend will be paid on 15 October 2021 to shareholders registered on the record date at 17 September 2021.
Going forward, the Board expects to maintain a progressive dividend policy over the medium term and the interim dividend to comprise approximately 40% of the total annual dividend.
Other financial highlights include:
Strong revenue momentum; Group revenue of £915.7m, up 4.0%. Like-for-like revenue of £924.9m, up 6.4% on the prior period and 1.2% ahead of 2019.
Profitability improved significantly; operating profit of £47.0m, up 243.1%. Adjusted operating profit of £47.0m up 63.8% on the prior period and 10.8% ahead of 2019
Strong cash generation, with free cash flow of £39.7m, up from an outflow of £3.3m in the prior period, enabled further reduction in net debt; leverage close to medium term target of 1.5 to 2.0 times at 2.1 times
Basic earnings per share up 3.3p to 4.2p