The capital structure is managed to support the Group’s objective of maximising long-term shareholder value through appropriate security of funding, ready access to debt and capital markets, cost-effective borrowing and flexibility to fund business and acquisition opportunities while maintaining appropriate leverage to ensure an efficient capital structure. Over the long-term, the Group seeks to maintain cash flow conversion of 90% or higher and credit metrics that are consistent with a solid investment grade credit rating. The typical credit metrics are net debt to EBITDA, on a pensions and lease adjusted and unadjusted basis, and free cash flow as a percentage of net debt. The Group’s uses of free cash flow over the longer-term balance the dividend policy, selective acquisitions and share repurchases, while retaining the balance sheet strength to maintain access to cost-effective sources of borrowing.
(1) Net debt / EBITDA is on a pension and lease adjusted basis and calculated in US dollars, and figures for June are on a last twelve month basis.