Dividends rise for shareholders just as cost-of-living crisis bites
Dividend boom for oil company shareholders just as many Britons are being hit by the cost of living crisis.
Payouts from UK companies rose in the first quarter of the year with shareholders lining their pockets just as many Britons are hit by the cost of living crisis.
Dividend payments rose just over 14 per cent in the three months to the end of March to £12bn, according to data from asset manager Janus Henderson.
Oil companies were the “main driver” of rising payments during the period, as they posted soaring profits amid a surge in energy prices as a result of higher demand and supply disruptions caused by the end of the restrictions due to the pandemic and the war in Ukraine.
Payouts: Dividend payouts rose just over 14% in the three months to the end of March to £12bn, according to data from asset manager Janus Henderson.
Healthcare and telecommunications companies also helped lift numbers, as AstraZeneca posted the first increase in its dividend in nearly a decade and BT restored its own payout after a two-year hiatus.
Rising payments to City investors, particularly those from oil and gas companies, are likely to fuel calls for a windfall tax for UK companies to contribute as taxes are reduced. family budgets.
Russ Mould, chief investment officer at AJ Bell, said that while the economic case for the windfall tax was “unclear,” such policies “may seem like good policy as cries mount for the government and the central bank ‘do something’ about rising cost of living.’
“Now it would be a bigger surprise if we didn’t see a windfall tax on Big Oil than if we did,” Mold said, adding that the heads of major energy companies “should really be trying to get in early, rather than to dodge the problem. ‘. ‘
The oil companies should meet with the big electricity companies and agree on an adequate payment,’ he said.
“This would be good policy and, from the Big Oil perspective, also good economics, as they are then in charge of the debate.”
Some 81 percent of companies in the Janus Henderson Global Dividend Index increased payouts over the period, while another 13 percent kept their payouts flat.
However, Jane Shoemake, client portfolio manager at Janus Henderson, warned that the impact on dividends from macroeconomic challenges facing companies could affect payouts in 2023.