Pfizer raises payout 11 per cent

Drugs giant Pfizer said it was raising its quarterly dividend to 20 cents per share from 18 cents yesterday as it named board member George Lorch as nonexecutive chairman, a week after the abrupt departure of chairman and chief executive Jeffrey Kindler. Kindler quit suddenly a week last Sunday night with no warning to shareholders. Pfizer's shares had fallen about 27 per cent during his tenure, which was marked by last year's $67bn (£42.2bn) acquisition of rival Wyeth.