The Shaftsebury PLC Board has recommended a final dividend of 4.0p per share (2020: nil). If approved at the 2022 AGM, the dividend will be paid on 11 February 2022, with 2.75p as a PID and 1.25p as an ordinary dividend. Totalling £15.4 million, the final dividend is 11.1% higher than EPRA earnings per share, reflecting the sustained revival of the West End and their operations, much improved prospects for the return to normal conditions and their strong financial position. As noted above, in future years, EPRA earnings will likely be lower than the related cash flows, as the cost of rent waivers unwinds. Consequently, from next year, they will use Covid-adjusted EPRA earnings as one measure in determining the level of dividends.
As a REIT, they are required to distribute a minimum of 90% of rental profits, calculated by reference to tax rather than accounting rules, as a PID. Notwithstanding this, their policy is to maintain progressive growth in dividends, reflecting the long-term trend in our income and EPRA earnings. To the extent that dividends for a year exceed the amount available to distribute as a PID, they pay the balance as ordinary dividends.
During the year an interim dividend of 2.4p per share was declared, to fulfil the Group's PID requirements for the year ended 30 September 2020. The distribution, totalling £9.3 million, was paid in July 2021.