UK dividends grew by 18.4 per cent to £22.6bn during the second quarter, according to the Capita Registrars ‘Dividend Monitor’, beating the previous £22bn record for the same period in 2007.
The second quarter figures contributed to a first half dividend pay-out of £41.4bn, an increase of 21.3 per cent, compared with the £34.2bn reported during the first six months of 2011.
According to Capita Registrars, the biggest growth in dividends was seen in the FTSE 100 index where an 19 per cent rise was reported increasing to £19.9bn.
The Dividend Monitor revealed 250 companies paid a dividend in the second quarter, with 212 increasing, starting or reinstating dividends. During the second quarter 34 cut or cancelled dividends during the same period.
The rise in dividends during the second quarter has led Capita Registrars to revise its estimate for full-year dividends, increasing by £2bn to £78.3bn, a 15.1 per cent rise on 2011.
Capita Registrars chief executive Charles Cryer says: “The worsening global and domestic economic picture has not dented the enthusiasm among British firms to pay dividends.
“Cash flow is still strong, yet operate investment is very depressed. Dividends are one destination for the large cash surpluses that companies have accumulated as a result.”
Cryer adds: “Even without the record special payments, underlying dividend growth has surpassed our expectations with its strength. The upgrade in our forecast for the full year reflects both these factors.”