- Reuters / Suzanne Plunkett
- Dividend payments are predicted to reach a record £94 billion this year. Shareholders of UK listed companies have already experienced a record third quarter. The data has been collected by outsourcing group Capita.
LONDON – Shareholders of UK listed companies are due to receive a record £94 billion in dividend payments this year, according to a study.
Dividend payments rose to £28.5 billion in the three months to September, a record for the third quarter and a rise of 14% from last year. This was driven by bigger pay outs from mining companies, which accounted for two-thirds of the increase, according to outsourcing group Capita’s Dividend Monitor, which reports figures before tax.
Payments are now on track to reach a record £94 billion this year, up from the previous record of £88.1 billion in 2014.
“Investors have struck gold as this year’s haul easily smashes the previous record set in 2014,” the BBC reported Justin Cooper, chief executive of Capita’s Shareholder Solutions, said in a statement. “Generous payouts have been topped up by big exchange rate gains between January and June and very large special dividends, setting 2017 up to be a sparkling year,” he said.
The second quarter of this year also saw record payments of £33.3 billion, up from £29.1 billion from last year. However, companies have come under fire for raising dividends when wage growth and productivity is sluggish. This year has also seen a backlash against what is seen by some as unfairly high levels of executive pay that entrenches inequality.
During this quarter, mining company BHP Billiton tripled its payout, while special dividends – usually one-off payments made to shareholders when companies have lots of cash – grew by 40% to £1.5 billion.
Capita collects data every quarter from more than 1,500 firms listed on the London stock exchange’s main market.