Smith & Nephew has increased its full year dividend by 14% to 35c per share following strong growth earnings growth. Adjusted earnings per share increased 14% to 94.5c in 2017 as a result of one-off tax benefits and improvements in the trading profit margin. Group revenue increased 3% on an underlying basis to $4,765 million. Trading profit for the year increased to $1,048 million from $1,020 million, and the trading profit margin rose by 20 basis points to 22%. The company expects the overall dynamics in its markets to be similar in 2018 to those seen in 2017, and to deliver an improved performance. Underlying revenue growth is expected to be in the range of 3% to 4%. On a reported basis, this equates to a range of around 7% to 8% at current exchange rates and including the impact of the Rotation Medical acquisition. The trading profit margin is expected to improve by 30-70bps. Olivier Bohuon, chief executive officer of Smith & Nephew, said: "We delivered on our promises to improve the top and bottom line in 2017. Our knee implants franchise delivered a standout performance and we returned to double-digit growth in the emerging markets. Our healthy balance sheet, good cash generation and increased dividend demonstrate the robust foundations underpinning our business. "In 2018 I expect Smith & Nephew to build on 2017 by delivering another year of improved performance driven by our strong product portfolio and pipeline of innovative products. "Looking further ahead, our greater focus on commercial execution gives us confidence we will outgrow our markets and the new APEX programme supports our expectation of improved trading profit margin."
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