Revenue growth better in second half

Our reported revenue growth for the year was 6.2%, and on a constant currency basis, which excludes the impact of currency movements, revenues were up 5.7%. Changes in exchange rates increased revenue growth by 0.5%, chiefly reflecting the weakness of the pound sterling against the US dollar and euro in the first nine months, largely offset by the strength of the pound sterling against the US dollar, Japanese yen, Australian dollar and Indian rupee in the final quarter.

On a like-for-like basis, which excludes the impact of currency and acquisitions, revenues were up 3.5%, with gross margin or net sales up 3.4%. In the fourth quarter, like-for-like revenues were up over 4%, following like-for-like growth in the third quarter of 5%, reflecting stronger growth in North America and Asia Pacific, Latin America, Africa and the Middle East and Central and Eastern Europe, offset by lower growth in the UK. Like-for-like growth in the second half was therefore well over 4% compared with over 2% in the first.

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