The FTSE 100 is hovering around 5,700 today, 14 points down on yesterday's close, and really not going anywhere much. We are still in the early days of interim reporting season, mind, so we should see some more influence from company results over the next few weeks.
But an aggregate indicator of share prices doesn't tell us anything about the dividends that companies are paying, and in today's economy, the lion's share of many a portfolio's profits comes from such payouts. Here are three companies from the various FTSE indices that have lifted their dividends this week.
IG Group Holdings (ISE: IGG.L) released annual results to May 31 on Tuesday, and lifted its full-year dividend to 22.5 pence from 20 pence last year. That's a rise of 12.5%, and represents a yield of 4.9% on Monday's closing price of 462 pence. It was supported by a 13.8% jump in pre-tax profit and strong cash generation.
The derivatives trading firm, which provides contracts for difference and spread betting, showed its commitment to decent payouts, saying: "We are a highly cash generative business and this allows for both investment in technology and enables us to maintain a high level of dividend payout." This year's dividend represents 60% of diluted earnings per share.
It was a good week for Howden Joinery Group (ISE: HWDN.L) shareholders as well, as it returned to paying a dividend after three years with no payouts. In its interim figures on Tuesday, the company announced a 0.3 pence dividend for the half year to June 9, after recording a 6.7% rise in group revenues and an 8% rise in pre-tax profits.
For the full year, the City is estimating a dividend of around 1.1 pence per share. That's still only a yield of less than 1% based on today's 134 pence share price, but it's moving in the right direction.
Speciality insurer Beazley Group (ISE: BEZ.L) reported a strong half year on Friday, and lifted its interim dividend by 8%, from 2.5 pence to 2.7 pence. The firm, which even offers to insure you against piracy and war damage, moved back into the black with a pre-tax profit of $113 million, after it recovered from last year's abnormally high levels of disaster claims.
There's a full year payout of around 8 pence forecast, which would provide a 5% yield on the current 153p share price.
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