DIVIDEND POLICY.


Double digit growth in operational cash and [net cash generation], coupled with the high visibility of future cash flows, has led the Board to recommended a 39% increase in the final dividend to 4.74p (2010: 3.42p), bringing the full year dividend to 6.40p (2010: 4.75p) an increase of 35%. The dividend is at the highest level in the history of the Group.

The cost of the full year dividend is £376m (2010: £279m) with a net cash generation coverage ratio of 2.25 times (2010: 2.72 times).

Reductions in the net cash generation coverage ratio are possible, depending on prevailing economic and regulatory conditions.

Final dividend per share payable to shareholders: 2008 2.05p; 2009 2.73p; 2010 3.42p; 2011 4.74p (bar chart)

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