Thursday 07 July 2022

Amsterdam-listed companies hike payouts by 38% in 2017

Photo: DutchNews.nl

A survey of 41 of the biggest Amsterdam listed companies reveals they increased their dividend payouts by an average 38% in 2017.

The companies surveyed spent a total of €22.9bn on dividends and share buybacks last year, up from €16.6bn in 2016, the Financieele Dagblad reported on Monday.

The higher spending led the companies to borrow €7.8bn to finance the moves, the FD said.

AkzoNobel and Unilever stood out for their higher payouts and both companies were the targets of failed takeover attempts last year. AkzoNobel paid shareholders a special dividend of about €1bn at the end of the year and bought back shares for €160m. Unilever spent €5bn buying back shares.

Because of its sheer size, Shell was kept out of consideration as were financial stocks. Shell spent €9.6bn on dividends (excluding stock dividends) up from €8.7bn in 2016.

Unlike in previous years, increased turnover rather than cost-cutting was the major factor in boosting earnings. More than two-thirds of companies in the survey booked higher sales with turnover an average 8.2% higher.

The companies reported profit margins of 9.5% compared to 7.8% in 2016. In other words, the FD says, companies kept the increase in costs lower than the growth of income.

The FD companies spent €10bn on takeovers last year. Chief among these was Heineken’s acquisition of the Brazilian arm of Japanese brewer Kirin, Philips’ purchase of Spectranetics and Unilever’s takeover of Carver, a South Korean skin care producer.

Thank you for donating to DutchNews.nl

The DutchNews.nl team would like to thank all the generous readers who have made a donation in recent weeks. Your financial support has helped us to expand our coverage of the coronavirus crisis into the evenings and weekends and make sure you are kept up to date with the latest developments.

DutchNews.nl has been free for 14 years, but without the financial backing of our readers, we would not be able to provide you with fair and accurate news and features about all things Dutch. Your contributions make this possible.

If you have not yet made a donation, but would like to, you can do so via Ideal, credit card or Paypal.