Surge in dividend payouts to investors

Dividends paid to UK investors have surged by more than a quarter in the past three months after big payouts from miners, life insurers and tobacco firms, according to new data.

Shareholders picked up £19.1bn in the quarter to June, a 27 per cent increase on the same period last year, said registrar Capita.

Miners were responsible for a large chunk of the £4.1bn increase as they more than quadrupled their payouts.

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Chilean copper miner Antofagasta paid a special dividend of £540m, South African giant Anglo American paid its first final dividend for four years while other mining majors also announced big rises.

Over the first half, dividends rose by 19 per cent to £34.1bn with underlying growth a “healthy” 10.2 per cent after stripping out the impact of BP returning to the list, said Capita.

Yorkshire-based companies Drax, Morrisons, Persimmon, Northern Foods and Provident Financial collectively paid out £400m in dividends in the first half of 2011. This compares to £314m in the first half of 2010.