The Company’s ability to pay dividends is dependent on several factors, including the availability of distributable reserves, capital expenditure plans and other cash requirements in future periods. Any level or payment of dividends will depend on, among other things, future profits and the business plan of the Company, at the discretion of the Board of Directors and ultimately shareholder approvals.
As per the Company’s announced policy, dividends are to be paid semi-annually with a final annual dividend distributed to shareholders in the first half and the payment of the interim dividend in the second half of each fiscal year. The dividend policy is progressive, reflecting robust underlying cash flow, and the annual distribution is expected to grow by at least 5% per annum on a dividend per share basis over the next four years (2023-2026).
This policy is designed to reflect our strong and visible long-term cash flow and our expected long-term earnings potential, while allowing us to retain sufficient cash to fund ongoing operating requirements and continued investment for long-term growth. The policy is subject to consideration by our Board of Directors and will cover the cash management requirements of our business for operating expenses, interest expense, anticipated capital expenditures and market conditions. In line with the progressive policy, the Board considers dividend a capital allocation priority alongside investment in profitable growth and is committed to returning a competitive and growing cash dividend to our shareholders.
Subject to the foregoing, shareholders at the Annual General Meeting in April of 2023 approved a final dividend payment for the second half of 2022 totaling $341.25 million, or 7.83 fils per share, which was distributed to shareholders on April 25, 2023.
Furthermore, the Board of Directors announced an interim cash dividend for fiscal year 2023 totaling $358.3 million, or 8.22 fils per share, which was distributed to shareholders on October 27, 2023. The interim dividend payment was 5% higher than the interim dividend payment of fiscal year 2022, in-line with the Company’s dividend policy.