UK dividends made record payout in third quarter

Paying dividendsUK dividends made a record payout for the third quarter, according to Dividend Monitor from Capita Asset Services.

They soared 14.3% to £28.5 billion (€31.9 billion)in the third quarter, the third-largest quarterly total ever paid.

It follows news in summer that global dividends hit an all-time quarterly record of $447.5 billion (€380.5 billion) in the second quarter.

2017 dividends are on track to beat the previous annual record set in 2014. The larger-than-expected haul in Q3 built on the strong growth in the first half of the year, though it was much less dependent on one-off exchange-rate effects.

With the anniversary of the pound’s devaluation following the Brexit vote having passed in June, the Q3 exchange rate against the dollar was very similar year-on-year. One-third of Q3 dividends is paid in dollars, so these were translated into sterling without the huge foreign exchange gains of the previous four quarters. The effect was a near-negligible 0.2% in Q3.

Special dividends contributed to the rapid headline growth rate. They were two-fifths higher year-on-year, thanks largely to contract caterer Compass, which distributed £960 million on top of its regular dividend.

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