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BP's cut means half the FTSE 100 dividends hit by coronavirus

The total payout for the second quarter so far is the lowest since 2010


BP PLC’s (LON:BP.) dividend decision today means that half the FTSE 100 has scrapped or cut their payout during the coronavirus pandemic, with total payouts in the second quarter falling by £22bn year on year.

The oil supermajor cut its dividend in half but this was, as some analysts said, the worst kept secret in the market.

READ: BP ‘resets’ dividend by 50% as it promises to cut oil production by 40%

Meanwhile, alcoholic drinks maker Diageo PLC (LON:DGE), reported a halving of annual profits, which would seem a good enough reason to cut its dividend, but instead insisted on keeping its payout topped up.

BP’s cut, however, means that total dividends for the second quarter of 2020 have made a dizzying 57% dive compared to the same period last year, down £22bn to £16.1bn, according to data from the Link Group.

The reduction since March is not far off £40bn, according to research by AJ Bell, with £6.6bn scrapped since last Monday, thanks to the likes of Shell (LON:RDSB), HSBC (LON:HSBA), Lloyds (LON:LLOY), Standard Chartered (LON:STAN) and Barclays (LON:BARC). 

This is the lowest second-quarter total since 2010, and the decline itself is by far the biggest ever recorded.

Excluding special dividends, which were unusually high last year, the decline was 50.2%, from £32.1bn to £16.0bn.  

In spite of BP’s cut, Link forecasts the full year will see payouts fall at best 38% to around £60.5bn on an underlying basis and at worst they will fall 42%, excluding special dividends.

The FTSE fifty

So far, 176 companies cancelled payouts and 30 more have cut them, according to Link, together representing three-quarters of expected payers for the quarter, versus two-fifths of companies in the global financial crisis.

The top 100 dividend payouts fell 45% in the second quarter, compared to 76% for the mid-caps.

The 50 Footsie members that have cut or dumped their dividend because of the COVID-19 crisis are:

  1. Admiral
  2. Anglo American
  3. Antofagasta
  4. Associated British Foods
  5. Auto Trader
  6. Aviva 
  7. BAE Systems
  8. Barclays
  9. Barratt
  10. BP
  11. British Land
  12. BT
  13. Bunzl
  14. Burberry
  15. Centrica
  16. DS Smith
  17. Ferguson
  18. Flutter
  19. Fresnillo
  20. Glencore
  21. HSBC
  22. Imperial Brands
  23. Informa
  24. Intercontinental Hotels
  25. International Consolidated Airlines
  26. ITV
  27. JD Sports
  28. Johnson Matthey 
  29. Land Securities
  30. Lloyds
  31. Meggitt
  32. Melrose 
  33. Mondi
  34. Morrisons
  35. Next
  36. Persimmon
  37. Rentokil
  38. Rightmove
  39. Rolls-Royce
  40. Royal Bank of Scotland
  41. RSA
  42. Sainsbury
  43. Shell
  44. Smiths Group
  45. Smurfit Kappa
  46. St James’s Place
  47. Standard Chartered
  48. Taylor Wimpey
  49. Whitbread
  50. WPP

Quick facts: BP PLC

Price: 267.15 GBX

Market: LSE
Market Cap: £54.15 billion

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