Dutch companies quoted on the stock exchange paid more than 7.6 billion euro in dividend in the first half of 2011. This is half a billion euro more than in the first half of 2010. Nearly all the dividend was paid by companies outside the financial sector. For the third year in a row, banks and insurance companies paid nearly no dividend.
Dividend paid by quoted companies
Financial institutions pay hardly any dividend
Quoted companies paid 7 percent more dividend in the first half of 2011 than in the same period last year. The increase in the amount of dividend paid in the first half of 2011 is in line with the increasing company profits in the last twelve months.
Although profits also recovered in the financial sector, companies in this sector paid hardly any dividend in the first half of 2011. Dividend payments by banks and insurance companies had already been very low in 2009 and 2010, too. The weak financial position and terms of government support prevent many financial institutions from paying dividend.
Pre-tax profits of quoted companies
More optional dividend for shareholders
In the first quarter of 2011, quoted companies paid more than 4 billion euro in optional dividend. This was the first time that the amount of optional dividend was higher than the amount of cash dividend paid. Optional dividend gives companies the option to keep part of the profits in the company and use them for investment or to shore up the balance sheet. As a result of the crisis it has been more difficult for companies to raise capital. More than 60 percent of shareholders chose to receive their optional dividend in the form of shares in the first quarter of 2011.
Cash and optional dividend
Jos van Heiningen