I am pleased that the Group has had another good year, delivering further customer and profit growth, with continued investment in our customers, people, partners and innovation. The Group reported an increase in revenue to £633.2m (FY15: £584.2m) with adjusted profit before tax of £93.0m (FY15: £85.4m) delivering a 15% increase in adjusted earnings per share to 21.8p.
This has been a good year for our UK business with strong affinity partnerships securing a solid customer base with high levels of customer service and satisfaction. During the year we completed the acquisition of Home Energy Services Limited, a directly employed heating business with 0.1m customers and over 150 directly employed engineers, providing an opportunity to increase our offering in the heating market, the most established of the home emergency services. We have invested in technology and innovation, evolving our smart thermostat offering and developing a unique water leak detector which will be launched in the UK market this year.
Our International businesses are also performing very well. France had an excellent year, with renewed sales momentum following the signing of the Lyonnaise des Eaux partnership last year. Pleasingly we also saw further growth in Spain. Our investment in New Markets continues; a detailed appraisal of opportunities in new territories is underway and we continue to progress with our digital initiatives.
There remains a hugely underpenetrated market in the USA and we have made very good progress this year to take further advantage of what is the largest opportunity for the Group. Our business development pipeline is strong with deals at all stages of discussion and we signed 11 new affinity partners over the course of the year, adding a total of 2.8m affinity partner households. At the end of the year, we signed an agreement to acquire Utility Service Partners Inc., a business with over 300 partnerships across 9.4m households. With the addition of USP, we will have 42m affinity partner households in the USA.
Given the Group’s very good performance and the Board’s confidence in its future prospects, the Board is proposing an increase in the final dividend to 8.9p per share, bringing the total ordinary dividend for the year to 12.7p (FY15: 11.5p) an increase of 10% which is 1.72x covered by the FY16 adjusted earnings per share compared to 1.65x in FY15.
I am delighted that we have appointed Chris Havemann to the Board as a Non-Executive Director. Chris has enjoyed a successful and largely entrepreneurial career and brings with him a wealth of experience in the digital space which will be of great benefit as we continue to develop the business.
On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank all our people for their contribution to another set of very good results.
JM Barry Gibson
24 May 2016