Weak world economy slows UK businesses’ dividend payout growth

Tim Wallace
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Vodafone was the top performer (Source: Getty)
Dividend payouts barely increased in the past year despite Britain’s economic recovery, figures from Capita Asset Services show today.

Instead the payouts are being slowed by weak economic growth overseas, as many listed British firms have substantial global operations.

Total dividends in the third quarter came in at £25.5bn, just 0.2 per cent more than in the same period of 2013.

The underlying performance is even weaker – standard dividends fell 2.9 per cent, but the headline figure was propped up by special payments tripling to £1.1bn.

The top performer was Vodafone, which has headed the tables for the past seven years of this study.

Shell, HSBC, BP and the National Grid made up the rest of the top five, between them paying £7.9bn – down from £9.4bn in the third quarter a year ago.

By sector, the biggest rise was the 26 per cent jump in consumer services dividends to £3.5bn. The worst performer was technology, with a 55 per cent fall to £87m.

“The global economy, and especially the European one, remain weak,” said the report.

“Corporate earnings have been lacklustre with the strength of the pound still weighing on results.”

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