UK Firms: Investors earn record dividends
The third-quarter payout of 23.3 billion pounds ($37.59 billion), up 10.2 percent year-on-year, was the largest ever in nominal terms. In real terms, it was the highest since 2008.
The volume of cash being distributed by UK companies is unprecedented, said Charles Cryer, Chief Executive of Capita Shareholder Services.
Given the lack of high yielding alternatives, investors can be hugely relieved that equities are providing a decent income, he said, while acknowledging dividends could not continue to grow rapidly against the slower global economic backdrop. Dividends of 64.6 billion pounds so far this year also represent a record and are already ahead of annual payouts in 2007, 2009 and 2010.
The estimated 78.6 billion pound payout for the whole of 2012 would be a record, even accounting for inflation. The payouts come amid weak economic growth in developed markets and slowing growth elsewhere and illustrate a reluctance among firms to invest in big capital projects or acquisitions.
Those firms more exposed to the economic cycle, so-called cyclicals, saw dividends grow three times as fast as more defensive sectors, the report showed, led by basic industrials with a 172-percent increase year-on-year.
Only the technology sector, down 15 percent, posted a fall.
The third-quarter growth rate was the slowest since BP cancelled its payout in
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