CONTINUED GROWTH, RE-AFFIRMING GUIDANCE, $500 MILLION SHARE BUY BACK
|Ongoing businesses1US$ millions||Q3 2019||Q3 2018||Change|
|Net debt to EBITDA||0.9x||0.9x3|
Third quarter highlights
− Ongoing revenue growth of 6.2%, including 8.4% in the USA.
− Solid gross margins, slightly ahead of last year.
− Good cost control, underlying operating costs lower than in Q2.
− Ongoing trading profit of $359 million was $8 million ahead of last year.
− Strong operating cash generation of $632 million in the quarter with net debt to EBITDA of 0.9x.
− Share buy back of $500 million announced today.
John Martin, Group Chief Executive, commented:
“The Group continued to grow in Q3 with revenue 6.2% ahead. We also continued to successfully grow our gross margins and have improved our underlying cost base over the last two quarters.
“We are confident that Ferguson will continue to make progress as we remain firmly focused on delivering superior customer service. We expect to generate ongoing Group trading profit in the year ended 31 July 2019 in line with current analysts’ consensus forecasts.4
“Cash generation continued to be excellent and our balance sheet remains strong. We will continue to invest organically in our businesses supplemented by bolt-on acquisitions in our core operations. Given our strong financial position, and in line with our capital allocation policy, we are initiating a $500 million share buy back programme which we expect to complete over the next 12 months.”