Underpinned by the strong performance of the business and given its strong annual cash generation, the Board has considered the long-term dividend policy in the context of its capital allocation strategy.
For 2018, the Board has recommended a final dividend of €1.50 per share for the full financial year, equating to an increase of 100% over the previous year. This represents dividend cover of 3.5x adjusted earnings per share.
Going forward, the Board’s dividend policy will be to progressively increase ordinary dividends and to target a dividend cover of less than 3.0x adjusted earnings over the medium term. Dividends will be paid on a semi-annual basis with one third of the prior year’s full year dividend being paid at the interim.