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UK dividend surge drives record global shareholder payout

dividends Image credit: Songquan Deng via Shutterstock

A surge in UK companies paying out large dividends has driven the global figure to a record $544.8bn (£461.2bn) amid the cost of living crisis.

Research from the fund management firm Janus Henderson found that shareholder payouts in the UK increased by 32.3% in the second quarter compared to the year prior, putting $38.5bn (£32.6bn) in the pockets of investors.

The fund manager said the post-pandemic rise in payouts was driven initially by banks, oil groups and mining companies.

The surprising figures have caused Janus Henderson to up its projected payout by the end of the year to $1.56tn.

Despite a surge in dividend payments in the UK, the level of shareholder payouts remains “some way below their pre-pandemic level” according to the research.

Janus Henderson’s head of global equity, Ben Lofthouse said: “Many of the easy gains have now been made as the post-Covid-19 catch-up is almost complete. We are also facing a significantly slower global economy and the headwind from the strength of the US dollar.”

While payouts to shareholders in the UK have increased significantly, there are demands from a number of unions in the country to increase wages for employees at lower levels, as the national cost of living continues to rise.

The tech industry pays out relatively low dividends in the UK. Many London-listed tech firms, including Deliveroo, Darktrace and Just Eat Takeaway do not pay dividends as they struggle with either low or non-existent profits.

Sage Group ranked among the UK tech companies paying the highest in dividends in 2022 so far.

A spokesperson from the company said to UKTN: “Sage has adopted a progressive dividend policy, intending to grow the dividend over time while considering the future capital requirements of the Group.”