UK Q1 dividends halved year-on-year but 2015 forecast rises

UK Q1 2015 dividend pay-outs were cut in half year-on-year, the Capita Dividend Monitor has revealed, alongside revising up its full-year projection.

UK Q1 dividends halved year-on-year but 2015 forecast rises


Headline dividends fell by 52% to £14.75bn in Q1 2015 – down from £30.7bn the previous year – only the second time in five years that total returns have dipped below the £15bn mark, and the second consecutive quarterly drop.

However, underlying dividends – which excludes special dividends, and therefore the £15.9bn and £630m pay-outs by Vodafone and Barclays, respectively – were up 10.4% on the previous quarter to £14.49bn.

The data comes alongside a projected dividend total for the year of £86.5bn, a 6.4% jump on the 2014 total, and the third year in a row of dividend growth. Capita had previously forecasted total 2015 dividend to hit £86.1bn.

The oil, mining and chemical sectors Q1 delivered the best growth, all reaching double digits, while utilities and healthcare companies lagged.

UK mid-caps were the best performers, with a 7.5% dividend increase among the FTSE 250 against 0.7% in the FTSE 100.

Discussing its 2015 estimates, Capita cited the sharp upturn in the dollar’s value against sterling – a 12% increase during the past 12 months – as a key driver.

On a sector level, basic materials will undergo the strongest growth, predicted to surge 29% year-on-year, while telecommunications face a 92% plummet in the same period.

In the UK markets, Capita forecast yield to rise 4.1%, with FTSE 100 companies to deliver the biggest 2015 yield, at 4.2%, followed by residential property on 3.5%.

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