The Board is pleased to declare an interim dividend of 12.50 pence per share, which represents growth of 4.2% on the prior period (2022: 12.00 pence). The dividend will be payable on 13 April 2023 to shareholders on the Register at 10 March 2023. The ordinary shares will become ex-dividend on 9 March 2023.
Other Financial Highlights:
- Group revenue increased by 5.2% at Constant Exchange Rate (CER) (13.5% at Actual Exchange Rate (AER)), against a challenging comparator from the prior year.
- Group underlying operating profit (uEBIT) declined (11.2)% at CER ((3.8)% at AER) to £90.3 million.
- Group underlying operating margin declined (430) bps at CER to 23.9%, with a 150 bps increase in gross margin offset by a (290) bps increase in R&D expenditure to 7.0% of revenue (2022: 4.1%) and strategic investments made within operating costs to underpin the Group's future growth.
- Reported operating profit declined (27.2)% at CER ((22.3)% at AER), reflecting the underlying operating profit result plus the impact of acquisition and integration costs and cloud computing arrangement costs.
- Adjusted Net Debt to underlying EBITDA leverage is 2.2 times (2022: 0.9 times), driven by the acquisitions of Piedmont Animal Health and Med-Pharmex for a combined purchase price of £399.2 million together with ongoing investment in working capital.
- Underlying diluted EPS declined (20.4)% at CER ((13.4)% at AER) to 55.44 pence due to the decrease in uEBIT above and dilutive impact of the equity raise in July 2022. Interim dividend increased by 4.2% to 12.50 pence.