The MacFarlane Group Board is proposing a final dividend of 2.52p per share (2021: 2.33p per share) which would take the total dividend for 2022 to 3.42p per share (2021: 3.20p per share) up 7% on 2021.
Other financial highlights include:
Net cash inflow from operating activities of £18.0m (2021: £23.8m) reflects the timing of payments at the year end to suppliers and higher 2021 employee incentive payments paid in 2022.
Net bank debt on 31 December 2022 was £3.4m, a net cash outflow of £5.9m from 31 December 2021, including £8.7m of investment in acquisitions and a higher level of capital expenditure of £3.3m related primarily to the fit-out of the new distribution centre in the North-West of England (£1.3m). The Group is operating well within its existing bank facility of £30.0m and relevant covenants which runs until 31 December 2025.
The Pension Scheme surplus increased to £10.2m at 31 December 2022 (31 December 2021: £8.3m). This improvement is due to continued contributions from the Group and an increase in the discount rate offset by a decline in the value of investments during the year. This is against the backdrop of considerable volatility in the markets, in particular government gilt yields.