Dividend dates

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Dividends have never been so worth taking into account. According to the Barclays Equity Gilt study, £1,000 invested in a broad range of UK shares in 1945 with all dividends reinvested would have been worth £31,340 in real terms by the end of 2003. Ignoring the dividends, it would have been worth just £2,280.

Moreover, large and well-covered dividends are a great indicator of cash flow. Investors will find invaluable the information in the tables which start below, showing when companies are expected to pay dividends and how much they are likely to declare.

The guide gives a snapshot of the business calendar as well as an opportunity to track company announcements Compiled by the FT Research Centre, it gives key investment dates in 2005 for every company in the FTSE All Share index.

Click here for the guide to compamies in the FT All Share index

Click here for the guide to companies in the FTSE Fledgling index and FTSE Aim

Announcements were received up until December 22 2004 and the companies are listed in alphabetical order.

Since the entries are based on companies’ announcements over the last two years, the information is intended as a guide rather than a precise prediction.

Investors should check with the company before taking any action. Forecasts are for final and half year results, except where companies regularly pay quarterly dividends.

The FT Research Centre looked at dividend payments for about 700 companies represented in the FTSE All Share index, which represents about 99 per cent of UK stock market capitalisation and is widely used as a proxy for the level of the UK equity market as a whole.

Last year, for the first time, we did not include in the guide either the FTSE Fledgling index, which covers companies that are too small to qualify for the Small Cap, or the FTSE Aim, which is for young and growing companies. The decision was taken because the two markets together, although they include hundreds of companies, account for only about 1 per cent of overall capitalisation.

However, readers have written to us expressing their desire for this information and we are therefore publishing the full schedule of results and dividends, including the FTSE All Share, Fledgling and Aim.

Reading from left to right, the columns show: The company name. The index of which it is a constituent. The expected date of the 2005 annual general meeting. Whether the scheduled announcement is final (full year) or interim (first-half).

The end-date for the trading period to which the announcement relates. The date when the results announcement is due – as a rule dividend announcements are made on the same day or the day after the interim and final results are announced. The dividend ex-date: this is the date at which the share is forecast to go ex-dividend. If you purchase the shares after the ex-dividend date, you will not be entitled to the dividend payment. For this reason, it is not unusual for the share price to fall by the corresponding dividend amount on the ex-date.

The next two columns show the relevant net dividend announced in 2004 and the same figure adjusted for changes in the number of shares in issue. Dividend amounts are quoted in UK pence unless
otherwise indicated.

The final column includes, in some cases, a number relating to a list of footnotes printed in bold on Page 13. These deal with issues such as the precise source of data for forecasts, changes to companies’ fiscal year ends, special dividends and share buy-backs.

Private investors can purchase an electronic copy of this unique guide for £80. Call Dermot McGrath on 020 7873 3902 for more details.

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