Dividend payments by British companies to their shareholders are likely to break through the £100 billion mark in 2014 — thanks largely to a special payment from Vodafone.
The mobile network operator is making a one-off payment of £16.6 billion to shareholders from the proceeds of the sale of its Verizon Wireless stake.
As a result, shareholders of UK listed companies are expected to receive £101 billion (US$165 billion) next year, easily outstripping the previous high of £80.6 billion in 2012.
So great is the Vodafone effect, that it is unlikely that UK shareholders will see the same level of profits payouts until 2017, according to Justin Cooper, chief executive of Shareholder Solutions at Capita Asset Services which compiled the figures.
“That one payment will affect behaviour across the market, including influencing the timing of new stock market listings as companies seek to float shortly after the special dividend payout when Vodafone cash will be burning a hole in investors’ pockets.”