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Results for the half year ended January 31, 2021

US$ millions H1 2021 H1 2020 (restated)1 Change
Statutory financial results      
Revenue 10,309 9,893 +4.2%
Profit before tax 739 628 +17.7%
Basic earnings per share 271.1c 202.7c +33.7%
Interim dividend per share 72.9c -  
Alternative performance measures2      
Gross margin 30.0% 30.2% (0.2%)
Trading profit 875 781 +12.0%

Less impact of IFRS16

(38) (35)  

Underlying trading profit

837 746 +12.2%
Headline earnings per share 269.3c 235.1c +14.5%
Adjusted EBITDA3 918 828 +10.9%
Net debt : Adjusted EBITDA4 0.6x 1.1x  
  • Strong operational delivery in the first half:
    • Revenue 4.2% ahead of last year, despite one fewer trading day.
    • Gross margin down 0.2% driven by business and channel mix.
    • Excellent cost control ensured good underlying trading profit delivery up 12.2%, or $91 million.
    • Good operating cash generation and very strong balance sheet with 1.0x pro-forma leverage5.
  • Invested $224 million primarily in four acquisitions in the first half.
  • UK disposal completed in the period. Special dividend of 180 cents per share (approximately $400 million) will be paid in May 2021.
  • Interim dividend increased to 72.9c per share, will be paid in May 2021.
  • New $400 million share buy back announced today.
  • Additional US listing delivered and trading commenced on the New York Stock Exchange on March 8, 2021.

 

1) The Group disposed of its UK operations on January 29, 2021. Pursuant to IFRS requirements, the UK results have been reclassified to discontinued operations and the prior year comparative results have been restated.

2) The Group uses Alternative Performance Measures (“APMs”), which are not defined or specified under IFRS, to provide additional helpful information. These measures are not considered to be a substitute for IFRS measures and are consistent with how business performance is planned, reported and assessed internally by management and the Board. For further information on APMs, including a description of our policy, purpose, definitions and reconciliations to equivalent IFRS statutory measures see note 2 on pages 17 to 20.

3) Continuing operations only, excludes the impact of IFRS16. Adjusted EBITDA contribution from discontinued operations in the period was $57 million (2020 restated: $48 million)

4) Net debt excludes lease liabilities and Adjusted EBITDA excludes the impact of IFRS 16. Leverage ratio utilizes a trailing twelve months adjusted EBITDA for both continuing and discontinued operations.

5) Pro-forma net debt adjusted to include the impact of $400 million special dividend and $400 million share buy back.

Kevin Murphy, Group Chief Executive, commented:

“Ferguson delivered good top-line growth in the first half and despite challenging personal and professional circumstances, our associates continued to deliver for our customers. We continued to carefully manage the cost base to ensure excellent profit growth and solid cash flow generation. We remain confident in our strategy and are optimistic about our prospects in 2021 and beyond."

“Since the start of the third quarter, we have continued to trade well, generating high single digit organic revenue growth. While the outlook for the second half remains very uncertain, we expect to generate above market revenue growth in good residential markets aided by increasing inflation. However, we expect this to be partially offset by increasing supply chain pressures, transportation costs and the reversal of temporary cost reduction actions taken during the initial stages of the lockdown starting in April of last year. We are well positioned to manage through this environment and we will continue to invest in talented associates and digital capabilities to serve our customers and take advantage of market opportunities.”

For further information please contact

Ferguson plc

Bill Brundage, Group Chief Financial Officer

Tel: +1 757 223 6092

Mark Fearon, Director of Corporate Communications and IR Mobile: +44 (0) 7711 875070
Media Enquiries
Mike Ward, Head of Corporate Communications Mobile: +44 (0) 7894 417060
Nina Coad, David Litterick (Brunswick) Tel: +44 (0) 20 7404 5959
Jonathan Doorley (Brunswick) Tel: +1 (917) 459 0419

Investor conference call and webcast

A call with Kevin Murphy, Group Chief Executive and Bill Brundage, Group Chief Financial Officer will commence at 1200 UK time (0800 ET) today. The call will be recorded and available on our website after the event at

www.fergusonplc.com

Dial in number

United Kingdom +44 (0) 20 3936 2999
United States +1 646 664 1960

Ask for the Ferguson call quoting 877426
To register for the webcast please click here.

Click here to download full announcement