Tate & Lyle
Tate and Lyle continues to be a well - financed business and our inherent ability to generate cash flows, assisted by the ending of our major capital expenditure programme, will help drive a stronger balance sheet in the year ahead. Tim Lodge, Group Finance Director.

Group financial results

Positive free cash flow1

Year to 31 March

1 Free cash flow is defined as cash flow from continuing operations after interest, taxation and capital expenditure.

Free cash flow improved from an outflow of £127 million in 2008 to an inflow of £154 million in 2009. This improvement was principally driven by working capital inflows, particularly during the second half of the year.

Underlying improvement in net debt

Year to 31 March

Before the effects of exchange, the underlying movement in net debt improved from increases of £92 million and £109 million in 2007 and 2008 respectively to a reduction of £188 million in 2009. Good progress has been made by all areas of the business through a continuous focus on working capital, cost base, capacity management and control of capital expenditure.

Improvement in net debt
to EBITDA2 multiple

Year to 31 March

2 EBITDA is defined as earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation.

Net debt to EBITDA multiple is one of the business key performance indicators of our financial strength. The ratio improved to 2.4 times in 2009 compared to 2.5 times in the comparative period. In 2009, we amended the calculation basis so that net debt is translated at the same average exchange rates as EBITDA.

Summary of Group financial results

£m (unless stated otherwise) Year to 31 March 2009 Year to 31 March 2008 Actual change % Constant currency change %
Continuing operations        
Sales 3 553 2 867 24 8
Adjusted operating profit 298 295 1 (15)
Net finance expense (51) (42)    
Profit before tax, exceptional items and amortisation 247 253 (2) (18)
Exceptional items (119) (59)    
Amortisation of acquired intangibles (15) (12)    
Profit before tax 113 182 (38) (47)
Income tax expense (19) (76)    
Profit for the year from continuing operations 94 106 (11) (21)
(Loss)/profit for the year from discontinued operations (24) 81    
Profit for the year 70 187 (63) (67)
Earnings per share        
Basic 14.2p 40.9p (65) (70)
Diluted 14.1p 40.4p (65) (69)
Adjusted earnings per share from continuing operations    
Basic 38.2p 35.0p 9 (8)
Diluted 38.0p 34.6p 10 (8)
Dividends per share        
Interim paid 6.8p 6.5p    
Final proposed 16.1p 16.1p    
  22.9p 22.6p 1 1
Net debt        
At 31 March 1 231 1 041 (18) 18

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