We are financially strong.

Funding

(at AER) 

At 31 December 2016 the Group had net debt of £1,238.7m. The Group has over £72m of centrally held funds and £204m of available undrawn committed facilities. The ratio of net debt to EBITDA at the year end was 2.5x. The Company’s credit rating was reaffirmed at BBB with a Stable outlook. We are committed to maintaining a BBB rating and, based on our expectations for the coming year and our strong cash flow projections for 2017, we are confident in doing so.

The Directors continue to adopt the going concern basis in preparing the accounts on the basis that the Group’s strong liquidity position and ability to reduce capital expenditure or expenditure on bolt-on acquisitions are sufficient to meet the Group’s forecast funding needs, including those modelled in a downside case.

Dividend

Following an encouraging performance in 2016, and in anticipation of further progress in 2017, the Board is recommending a final dividend in respect of 2016 of 2.38p per share, payable to shareholders on the register at the close of business on 7 April 2017, to be paid on 17 May 2017. This equates to a full year dividend of 3.37p per share, an increase of 15.0% compared to 2015.