Ferguson announced its 2021 fiscal year financial results.
- Revenue 14.3% ahead of last year with accelerated market share gains;
- Gross margins of 30.6% were 60bps ahead of last year driven primarily by our ability to service our customers while managing price inflation;
- Good cost control ensured strong underlying trading profit delivery of $2,099 million, up $507 million and significantly outpacing revenue growth with profit before tax increasing to $1,891 million;
- Cash generation was solid and the balance sheet remains strong with 0.6x leverage;
- Continued to consolidate our markets, investing $335 million in seven acquisitions;
- $1.4 billion returned to shareholders during the year via dividends and share buy backs;
- Final dividend of 166.5c per share, bringing total dividend to 239.4c per share, an increase of 15%;
- New $1.0 billion share buy back announced today;
- UK disposal completed in January 2021 with operations now focused on North America;
- Additional US listing on the NYSE established in March 2021. On track for shareholder vote on US primary listing, Spring 2022; and
- Virtual investor day scheduled for December 9, 2021.
“We would like to express our sincere thanks to our 31,000 associates for their dedication and commitment, delivering outstanding service and accelerated market share gains amid a backdrop of COVID-19 and industry supply chain pressures. We were pleased with earnings growth that significantly outpaced revenue growth to deliver robust operating leverage and margin, demonstrating the agility of our business model. Cash generation was solid, as we continued to invest in inventory availability to service our customers, while our balance sheet remains strong. We welcomed talented associates from seven acquisitions as we continued to consolidate our fragmented markets," said Group Chief Executive Kevin Murphy.
“The Group started the new financial year with strong momentum, with organic revenue growth at similar levels to Q4 2020/21. We expect a year of good growth overall but we anticipate a tapering in the second half on tougher prior year comparatives. We are mindful that the recent tailwinds from inflation on gross margins could moderate but for the full year ahead we expect operational improvements to broadly offset headwinds from inflation in the cost base. Given the strong momentum in the business and the agility of our business model, we are well positioned to have a year of good growth and the Board continues to look forward to the medium term with confidence.”