The Straits Times
Published on Oct 22, 2012

Investors earn record dividends from cash-rich UK companies


LONDON (REUTERS) - UK firms handed out record dividends in the last quarter and are on track for annual all-time high payouts as they look to keep investors sweet in the face of faltering earnings growth, Capita Registrars said.

The third-quarter payout of 23.3 billion pounds (S$45.5 billion), up 10.2 per cent year-on-year, was the largest ever in nominal terms. In real terms, it was the highest since 2008.

"The volume of cash being distributed by UK companies is unprecedented," said Mr Charles Cryer, Chief Executive of Capita Shareholder Services.

"Given the lack of high yielding alternatives, investors can be hugely relieved that equities are providing a decent income," he said, while acknowledging dividends could not continue to grow rapidly against the slower global economic backdrop.