Global dividend payouts hit $1.43 trillion last year

Growth driven by strong market performance in North America and emerging economies.

Companies paid a record $ 1.43 trillion in dividends to shareholders around the world last year.

The record annual dividend payout was driven by strong performance in stock markets in North America and emerging economies, including unusually high special dividends, although global economic uncertainty has slowed the annual growth rate. Total payments were 3.5% higher than in 2018.

Analysts at Asset Manager Janus Henderson studied dividends paid by 1200 of the world’s largest companies in 2019. He found that payments to shareholders from UK and European firms were less generous than the global average..

Payments to investors in oil companies grew faster, by 10%, while dividends from telecom stocks fell.

Dividends from UK-registered companies reached $ 105.8 billion in 2019, up 6.2% from the previous year, thanks to large payouts from mining companies Rio Tinto and BHP, as well as Royal Bank of Scotland. However, the main growth in the UK of 2.9% was below the world average. In addition, many of the UK’s largest dividend payers, including Shell, HSBC, BP, GlaxoSmithKline and AstraZeneca, have only slightly increased their payouts over the past four years..

Companies paid record $ 1.43 trillion in dividends in 2019

In Europe, investors traditionally receive higher dividends. Payouts vary from country to country. For example, France recorded record payouts, while Belgium had the weakest payouts as the Anheuser-Busch brewery cut payouts in half..

Dividends have grown strongly over the past decade from their low base in 2009 following the financial crisis. During this time, payments have almost doubled: investors received $ 694 billion in dividends in 2019. Tech dividends have quadrupled since 2009.

Ben Lofthouse, Head of Janus Henderson’s Global Equity Earnings, said: «Except for a few specific sectors, earnings growth slowed globally in 2019 as the global economy lost some momentum».

However, Janus Henderson believes that payouts to investors will rise again this year, and has predicted global economic growth and higher corporate profits. Lofthouse said: «2020 marks fifth consecutive year of record dividends».

Companies paid record $ 1.43 trillion in dividends in 2019

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