In front of the New York Stock Exchange, on Wall Street. - Mark Lennihan

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic which has strongly affected companies, dividends fell 22% worldwide in the second quarter of 2020, with an even steeper drop in Europe, according to a report released on Monday.

According to the report by management company Janus Henderson Investors, the 22% drop in dividends "easily represents the heaviest quarterly drop since the global financial crisis", specifying that "more than half" of companies "have them outright. deleted ”.

"The worst year since at least the global financial crisis"

The decline in economic activity has hit listed companies hard, which saw their profits plummet. The situation was reflected in the payment of dividends, "radically affected" by the crisis, explains the management company. Global dividends fell $ 108.1 billion to $ 382.2 billion in the second quarter.

"2020 is set to be the worst year since at least the global financial crisis," predicts the asset manager, who has not experienced such a drop since the launch of his report in 2009. The fall is uneven depending on the regions of the world and sectors. In Europe and the UK, dividends fell 45% and 54%. In France, payments were at their lowest for “at least a decade,” says Janus Henderson Investors.

"Finance" and "cyclical consumption" particularly affected

In the first half of the year, the 37 companies in the flagship Parisian CAC 40 index which have already released their half-year results accumulated 400 million euros in net losses, against 44 billion euros in profits over the same period last year, according to a calculation made by AFP. Conversely, Canadian, Swiss and Japanese companies reduced their payments the least.

Unsurprisingly, the sectors most affected by the crisis have also been those which have cut back the most on dividends, in particular “finance” and those of “cyclical consumption”. Conversely, companies in health and communication have maintained these remunerations more. For the full year 2020, Janus Henderson Investors forecasts a decline of 17% to 23% in global dividends. They should all the same represent a total amount of 1.100 billion to 1.180 billion dollars.


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