Companies continue to grow dividends

Growth in dividends paid by Australian listed companies grew 26 per cent in the first half, well above expectations of 9.7 per cent growth. By the end of the financial year, Australian shareholders are expected to receive about $45 billion in dividends, up from $41 billion last year. Payout ratios for industrial stocks are expected to reach 90 per cent this year, from 67.7 per cent for the first half. Average historic dividend yield is about 3.9 per cent in Australia, compared with the USA at 1.8 per cent.