- 350m pre-tax, 45.9p EPS (continuing, before goodwill & exceptionals)
- Statutory reporting: pre-tax 300m, EPS: 38.0p (2003: 217m, 20.0p)
- At constant currency, sales up 7%, operating profit* up 2%
- After currency translation, sales up 2%, operating profit* down 3%
- Strong underlying sales and profit growth in the second half
- Free cash-flow of 45.5p per share, equivalent to earnings
- Annual dividend increased by 4% to 27.0p
- Outlook for growth in all divisions in 2005
*continuing activities, before goodwill amortisation and exceptionals.
Commenting on the results, Keith Butler-Wheelhouse, Chief Executive said:
"Delivery of an excellent second half performance in 2004 demonstrates that we have gained the momentum in all divisions which we expect to deliver increased sales and profit in 2005. With recent contract wins, the acquisitions made last year and investment in R&D and restructuring, we believe that growth can be sustained. The proposed final dividend reflects our confidence in the improved outlook for the company."