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Record high for dividend payouts.

DIVIDEND payouts distributed by UK companies rose to an all-time high of PS25.3bn in the second quarter of the year, figures released today show.

But the growth in investor payouts is slowing amid a profit squeeze on British firms, according to analysis by Capita Registrars.

The latest figure is the largest ever quarterly total, PS11.2bn higher than the first quarter, the figures show.

Media, financial services and food producers performed most strongly with double-digit growth though pharmaceuticals - which account for PS1 in every PS12 of all dividends - are down 0.3% amid difficulties in product development.

General retailers saw dividends fall 2% as tough times continued on the high street, Capita said. Non-life insurers cut payouts 20% thanks to a big cut by RSA, while life insurers managed growth of 3% despite Aviva reducing its payout.

The headline growth forecast for the whole year is for a PS900m rise to PS81.4bn in dividends to be paid out - a 1.1% increase that would be the slowest in three years.

Justin Cooper, chief executive of Capita Registrars, said: "A record quarter is well worth cheering, and Q2's PS25bn total is a staggering amount. It is however part of a wider picture that is seeing the pace of dividend growth slow down, following a profit squeeze on UK firms."
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Jul 22, 2013
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