AJ Bell: FTSE 100 dividends to top £81bn in 2022

Salford-based investment platform AJ Bell said the FTSE 100’s total dividend pay-out is expected to reach £81.2 billion in 2022, compared to £78.5 billion in 2021, equating to a yield of 3.9%.

“Ninety-seven FTSE 100 firms are expected to pay a dividend in 2022, against 91 in 2021 and 85 in 2020, as corporate confidence continues to return after the pandemic,” said AJ Bell.

“The combination of £81.2 billion in forecast dividends and the already-announced £32.7 billion in buybacks means that 2022 could be the second best-year ever for cash returns from the FTSE 100 – and there are still nine months left for more buybacks and special dividends (of which there were £5.8 billion in 2021).

“The current £114 billion expected total has been exceeded just once, by 2018’s £127.5 billion (when ordinary dividends came to £85.2 billion, special dividends £7.4 billion and buybacks £34.9 billion) …

“Analysts currently believe that 2022’s stated (FTSE 100) net profits of £169.7 billion will exceed not only the pre-pandemic peaks of 2017 but the high of 2013 as well, when Vodafone’s sale of its stake in an American joint venture with Verizon added considerably to the total.”