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Spectris announces dividend boost after 'resilient' 2020

By BFN News | 07:14 AM | Thursday 25 February, 2021

Spectris has announced a 5% increase in its full year dividend for 2020, alongside a £200 million share buyback programme. In its results statement for the 12 months to the end of December 2020, the company said it had experienced a statutory operating loss of £23.3 million, impacted by impairments at Millbrook. The loss also included a goodwill charge of £58.4 million and a £67.5 million charge of acquisition-related intangible assets and other property, plant and equipment. The company reported adjusted cashflow generation of £244.5 million, ahead of 2019 and a 'resilient' adjusted operating margin of 13%. Like for like sales declined 10.7% to £1,336.2 million for the full year period, but the company said 'fourth quarter order intake provides momentum coming into 2021'. Andrew Heath, chief executive, said: 'Cash generation was extremely strong and the balance sheet was further strengthened. This enabled us to reverse the temporary cost measures, returning staff to full pay, reinstating full-time working for the majority of employees and repaying the salary sacrifice. It also meant we were able to increase the final dividend and today announce a £200 million share buyback programme. 'The stronger order intake in the last three months of 2020 provides momentum for the first quarter of 2021 although, clearly, much uncertainty remains and we expect the immediate economic backdrop to remain challenging. However, the actions taken last year position the Group well for any market recovery in 2021. The cost base has been reduced and capability retained, creating a strong operating leverage opportunity and balance sheet optionality. We will maintain our approach, acting with purpose, and being values-led, to deliver long-term, sustainable financial health.' Story provided by

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