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Dividend policy

At our 2013/14 full year results on 8 May 2014, we announced that we have extended our dividend policy by one year and now expect to grow our dividend per share by 10% - 15% in both 2014/15 and 2015/16.  

Dividend dates

Our dividends are normally paid twice a year, with final dividends paid in September, and interim dividends in February. Payments for 2012/13, 2013/14 and 2014/15 are: 


Financial year



Ex-dividend dates

Record date

Payment date




29 December 2014

30 December 2014

9 February 2015




13 August 2014

15 August 2014

8 September 2014




23 December 2013

27 December  2013

3 February 2014




7 August 2013

9 August 2013

2 September 2013




24 December 2012

28 December 2012

4 February 2013

More dates and payments

Futher information on dividends

Dividends are the share of a company’s profits that it decides to pay to its shareholders. They are an important part of the return from investing in shares, in addition to any increase in the share price. Companies are under no obligation to pay dividends, but they usually choose to do so because dividends provide an incentive to invest in their shares.

Companies typically keep part of their profits back to expand the business and/or increase their reserves, and will then pay out the rest as a dividend. If companies have good investment opportunities, they will tend to keep more of their profits back for this purpose, reducing the amount available for dividends. So the amount of profit companies make and the alternative uses of its profits will help to determine the dividend.

Dividends are usually paid after the half-year and full-year financial results, although some companies pay quarterly. At this time, a company’s board of directors will decide how much to pay per share. At the same time, the ex-dividend date, the record date and the payment date will be announced. The shares entitle the holder to receive a dividend up to the ex-dividend date. (The share price will fall by the amount of the dividend after this date: the shares ‘go ex-dividend’.) The record date is when the company registrar determines who is entitled to receive the dividend: the ‘beneficial owner’. The payment date is the date on which payment of the dividend is made to the beneficial owner.

Companies pay shareholders dividends out of profits on which they have already paid - or are due to pay - tax. The dividend paid represents 90% of the shareholder’s 'dividend income'. The remaining 10% of the dividend income is made up of the tax credit. When shareholders receive their dividend, they get a voucher that shows the dividend paid and the 10% ‘tax credit’ which they can offset against any UK income tax due on dividend income. You can find more information about understanding the UK dividend tax credit and paying UK tax on dividend income on HM Revenue & Customs website.