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Ten FTSE 100 firms return to dividend list but huge income deficit remains

These ten FTSE prodigal sons have declared dividends worth £1.8bn

Smiths Group -

Smiths Group PLC (LON:SMIN) is the tenth FTSE 100 firm to restart dividend payments after the widespread scrapping of shareholder payments in the wake of the coronavirus crisis.

The engineering conglomerate said it will return to the dividend list with a 35p per share payment.

READ: Smiths Group restarts dividend after solid performance

This included an 11p per share interim dividend that, back at the end of March, the group said it would not pay as trading at that time was affected “to some extent” by early disruption from coronavirus and this was said to be “accelerating”.

This follows announcements from fellow Footsie constituents BAE Systems PLC (LON:BA.) earlier this month, and Aviva PLC (LON:AV.), Mondi PLC (LON:MNDI), Persimmon PLC (LON:PSN), Smurfit Kappa PLC (LON:SKG) and WPP PLC (LON:WPP) in August and Bunzl PLC (LON:BNZL) in July, also giving details of their planned resumption of shareholder payouts.

Also in July, DS Smith PLC (LON:SMDS) and Land Securities PLC (LON:LAND) said they will be bringing their dumped dividend back, though did not say how much they will be paying. 

Even not including the pair that yet to show their hand, these ten FTSE prodigal sons have declared dividends worth £1.8bn, according to calculations by AJ Bell. 

This, however, is a small fraction of the £32.8bn of scrapped dividends announced by the giants of the FTSE 100 so far in 2020. 

“Hard-pressed income seekers will be hoping that the tide is turning a little, as more members of the UK’s premier index start to pay dividends once again, although much will depend upon the extent of the spread of the virus and any economic damage that it does in autumn and winter,” said AJ Bell’s Russ Mould.

For the whole of the year, the recent forecast from Link Group suggests dividends paid by all London's listed companies combined will fall by around two-fifths to £56.3-60.5bn, including a best-case scenario for AIM companies to pay dividends of £873mln. 

Quick facts: Smiths Group

Price: 1409 GBX

Market: LSE
Market Cap: £5.59 billion

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