I am pleased to report that the Group delivered a solid financial result in highly competitive and challenging market conditions, while continuing to execute its strategic initiatives.
From a financial perspective, we reported an underlying profit after tax for the year of $210.3m. This included solid earnings in both our Food and Liquor pillars, and strong growth in the Hardware pillar due to additional synergies from the Home Timber & Hardware acquisition (HTH).
Underlying earnings per share increased 1.8% to 22.6 cents, reflecting the benefit of the $150m share buy-back in August last year.
Importantly, our Pillars continued to generate solid cash flows, which together with our ongoing focus on working capital resulted in operating cash flow for the year of $244.9m. Our financial position remains strong, with net debt at the end of the financial year of $42.9m, which is a gearing ratio of 3.3%. Download the report to read more.