I am glad to be able to report to you that the year ended 31 March 2014 was again one of growth and development for DCC. Business conditions in the countries where we operate improved, even if only slowly. Operating results were strong, with profits up in each division, and overall by 11.5%, notwithstanding the impact on DCC Energy of winter temperatures well above the ten year average. Adjusted earnings per share were up by 11.7%.
Profit growth came from a combination of successful integration of businesses we had acquired in previous years, cost efficiency initiatives and some good organic growth. Our return on average capital employed was 16.3%, so once again very substantive shareholder value was added in the year. Our conversion of operating profits to free cash flow, always a DCC strong point, was exceptional at 133%. Year end debt, at £86.3 million, was only 9.1% of total equity. DCC’s financial position remains very strong, well funded and highly liquid. My warm thanks to all 10,202 DCC colleagues for those results. In his review Tommy Breen, our Chief Executive, gives a more detailed account of the results and sets them in the context of DCC’s performance over the 20 years since it was first listed.