A SPATE of special dividends were partly behind a record quarter for shareholder payouts, according to research out today.
FTSE-listed companies paid £22.6bn to investors in the second quarter, a rise of 18.4 per cent from the previous quarter, claims Capita Registrars. Around a third of this was from special divis, from the likes of Old Mutual, GlaxoSmithKline and Vodafone.
Capita has raised its forecast for the year by more than £2bn and expects firms to hand back £78.3bn to investors in the year, overtaking the pre-crisis peak seen in 2008.
Oil and gas firms remained the most generous payers, while healthcare and financial stocks saw the biggest jump in dividend growth. “The worsening global and domestic economic picture has not dented the enthusiasm among British firms to pay dividends,” said Capita Registrars chief executive Charles Cryer.
But he added: “We are more cautious about 2013 mainly because it is hard to see the magnitude of special payments being repeated, leaving regular dividends to do the heavy lifting.”