FTSE Dividends to Hit 79 Billion Pounds

LONDON -- The FTSE 100 (INDEX: ^FTSE  ) index gained 12 points to 5,908 today after a report claimed dividends from the blue-chip index advanced 11% to 21 billion pounds during July, August, and September.

The U.K. Dividend Monitor report from Capita said dividends from all quoted shares hit a record 23 billion pounds during the quarter and that U.K. investors had received payouts totaling 65 billion pounds during the first nine months of the year.

Capita's report stated that this year's payments had already surpassed the amounts distributed by U.K. shares during 2007, 2009, and 2010. Payments so far this year have been bolstered by special dividends totaling some 6.5 billion pounds, the main contributor to which has been Vodafone.

Excluding special payouts, Capita reckoned the FTSE 100's underlying dividend growth was 10.5% during the first three quarters of the year. Capita's stats also revealed that 226 quoted companies paid a dividend during the third quarter, 173 of which lifted, started, or reinstated their payout. Only 36, or 16%, of the 226 companies cut or canceled their payout.

The upbeat figures led Charles Cryer, the chief executive of Capita Shareholder Services, to predict that total FTSE dividends would hit 79 billion pounds this year and advance to 81 billion pounds during 2013.

Cryer added: "The volume of cash being distributed by U.K. companies is unprecedented. The total for 2012 will be almost one sixth higher than last year's record 68 billion pounds. Given the lack of high yielding alternatives, investors can be hugely relieved that equities are providing a decent income."

Indeed, Capita's report calculates that the FTSE 100 offers a potential 4.5% income for the next 12 months. Such a possible income is well-ahead of what you can expect to receive from a standard savings account.

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