At 31 December 2015 the group had net debt of £1,026.6m. The group has over £150m of centrally held funds and £370m of available undrawn committed facilities which are available to fund the £300m bond maturing in March 2016. The ratio of net debt to EBITDA at the Year End was 2.5x. The Company’s credit rating post the acquisition of Steritech has been reaffirmed at BBB. Based on our expectations for the coming year, our strong cash flow projections for 2016 and into 2017 and progress we are making with the Steritech integration, we are confident of maintaining the credit rating at our committed BBB level. 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.
Following an encouraging performance in 2015, and in anticipation of further progress in 2016, the Board is recommending a final dividend in respect of 2015 of 2.06p per share, payable to shareholders on the register at the close of business on 8 April 2016 to be paid on 18 May 2016. This equates to a full year dividend of 2.93p per share, an increase of 13.1% compared to 2014.