UK dividends to soar to £100bn

Tim Wallace
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A BUMPER payout from Vodafone will boost UK dividends to a record £101.8bn in 2014 from FTSE350 firms, according to estimates out today from Capita Asset Services.

The figure is an enormous 28.7 per cent rise on the year, far outstripping the previous record level of £80.6bn set in 2012.

Much of the boost comes from Vodafone’s upcoming special dividend – after selling Verizon it will distribute £16.6bn to shareholders.

Excluding all special dividends, the underlying dividend payout will be £83bn, Capita forecasts.

For the third quarter of 2013, dividends came in at £25.3bn, up 5.7 per cent on the year but down £60.5m on the quarter. That slight slowdown is in part from a 25 per cent drop in special dividends in the three-month period to £328m.

“Next year will very special indeed,” said Capita Asset Services’ Justin Cooper. “In fact, the Vodafone effect is so huge that at a headline level of £101.8bn, it is likely to be 2017 before investors see total dividends of this magnitude from UK plc again.”