This brings the total dividend for the year to 17.75p, an increase of 61 per cent, but the company will be using a figure stripped of the 5p special payment for historical comparison.
Mike Smith, finance director, said this was a one-off situation, although the company might consider doing it again in the future. 'We had no immediate use for the cash, so thought it best to distribute it to shareholders without re- rating the dividend,' he said.
Pre-tax profits for the year to 30 June climbed 14 per cent to pounds 8.75m on turnover that rose 5.5 per cent to pounds 19m.
Mr Smith said the company's maintenance of profits during a recession was helped by being in the rental business and marketing its products mainly by telephone.