It is the Company's current policy to pay an interim and final dividend in respect of each financial year, with approximately one third of the full year's dividend being payable as an interim dividend and two thirds as a final dividend. Dividends may be paid to shareholders in either UK Sterling or US Dollars.
Dividends will be paid in UK Sterling unless a shareholder elects to receive them in US Dollars, in which case a currency election form must be completed and returned to Link Asset Services. If you wish to receive your dividends in UK Sterling, there is no need to complete a Currency Election Form.
Dividends in US Dollars will be paid by cheque. Dividends in UK Sterling can be paid either by cheque or directly into your bank or building society account. If you wish to have your dividends paid direct into your account, you need to complete and return a dividend payment instruction form to Link Asset Services.
The Group’s dividend policy targets a dividend cover of between 2.0x and 3.0x business performance net profit and paying an interim dividend each year of approximately 33% of the prior year total dividend.
In line with this policy, the Board is proposing a final dividend of 25.3 cents per share (2017: 25.3 cents). The final dividend will be paid on 24 May 2019 to eligible shareholders on the register at 26 April 2019 (the ‘record date’). Shareholders who have not elected to receive dividends in US dollars will receive a sterling equivalent. Shareholders can elect by close of business on the record date to change their dividend currency election. Together with the interim dividend of 12.7 cents per share (2017: 12.7 cents), this gives a total dividend for the year of 38.0 cents per share (2017: 38.0 cents).