UK dividends fell by more than 60 per cent to $19.1bn in the first quarter after Vodafone’s bumper payout last year continued to distort headline figures.
The telecoms giant made a special $26bn payment to investors on the back of its Verizon Wireless deal last year – making this year’s quarterly dividend payout pale in comparison.
The strong dollar also hurt the total of UK dividend payouts, according to the study by Henderson Global Investors.
Underlying dividends – which strip out special payments – fell by 0.7 per cent, with Vodafone again to blame. The telecom company paid $1.5bn less than it did last year due to its smaller size in the wake of the Verizon deal.
Overall global dividends fell to $218bn in the first quarter, down 6.3 per cent on the year. This is the biggest fall since the first quarter of 2010.
Henderson’s dividend forecast for 2015 was lowered by three per cent compared to last year.