Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility GLOBAL DIVIDEND GROWTH SHOWS STRONG MOMENTUM AS PAYOUTS HIT FIRST-QUARTER RECORD - Janus Henderson Investors
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  • Q1 dividends rose to a first-quarter record of $339.2bn, up 2.4% on a headline basis
  • Underlying growth was significantly stronger at 6.8% – the headline total was held back by lower one-off special dividends
  • Sweden and Canada broke first-quarter records and the US registered an all-time quarterly high
  • Europe ex UK was held back by low Swiss growth and cuts in Denmark, but the region is on track for an encouraging second quarter
  • Japan continued to deliver strong growth, though the dollar total was held back by the weak yen
  • Banks accounted for a quarter of global growth in Q1, up by 12.0%, with most sectors registering some growth
  • No change in Janus Henderson’s 2024 dividend forecast of $72 trillion, up 3.9% on a headline basis and equivalent to underlying growth of 5.0%

London, 23rd May – Global dividends climbed to a first-quarter record of $339.2bn according to the latest Global Dividend Index from Janus Henderson. Strong underlying growth of 6.8% was the key driver of progress, though the headline total rose more slowly (2.4%) owing to lower one-off special dividends. Special dividends were still relatively high compared to most previous first quarters – the decline this year was simply from an exceptionally high base in Q1 2023, influenced by just two companies[1].

Globally, 93% of companies that make a Q1 payment either raised their dividends or held them steady.

Q1 is seasonally quiet in many parts of the world, but first-quarter records were broken in Sweden and Canada, while US payouts reached an all-time record high. Two very large companies, Meta and Alibaba, paid their first ever dividends, boosting the global Q1 total by 1.2 percentage points.

US registered an all-time quarterly record

US dividend growth accelerated in the first quarter, rising to an all-time quarterly record of $164.3bn, up by 7.0% on an underlying basis. The restoration of Walt Disney’s payout after the pandemic, and the first Q1 dividends from Meta and T-Mobile were the main factors behind the acceleration in US payouts.

Europe ex UK was held back by low Swiss growth and cuts in Denmark, but Q2 set to be strong

The first quarter is seasonally quiet in Europe and dominated by Switzerland, where payouts fell in Swiss franc terms – every Swiss company in our index increased its per share dividend but very large share buybacks (eg Novartis bought back 5% of its shares in 2023) exceeded dividend growth rates. Danish shipping group Moller Maersk made a very large cut, and this helped bring the European total down in Q1. However, we expect the seasonally important second quarter to show solid growth in Europe.

In Asia, a cut from BHP in Australia masked better growth from the wider region, while strong local currency growth in Japan was obscured by the weak yen. In the UK, most companies delivered flat or low single-digit increases.

Banks accounted for a quarter of global growth in Q1, up by 12.0%; most sectors saw growth

The sector picture is one of broad-based strength. Banks accounted for a quarter of global growth in Q1, up by 12.0%. Only six of our 35 sectors saw declines and, transport aside (hit by Moller Maersk in particular), all the others only saw very minor declines. Most sectors delivered solid single-digit underlying increases.

Forecast unchanged – underlying growth expected at 5.0% for 2024

The first quarter was broadly in line with Janus Henderson’s expectations and the rest of the year continues to promise steady progress. Janus Henderson has made no change in its 2024 forecast for total payouts of $1.72 trillion. Lower special dividends mean the headline increase is set to be 3.9% year-on-year, equivalent to a rise of 5.0% on an underlying basis.

Jane Shoemake, Client Portfolio Manager on the Global Equity Income team at Janus Henderson, said: Investors have enjoyed a strong start to 2024, with share prices rising globally and dividend growth continuing to show the strong underlying momentum reached towards the end of 2023. We have reasonable visibility over payouts in the crucial second quarter, which sees seasonal peaks in Europe, Japan and the UK. While a very small handful of large companies have announced significant dividend cuts, including Australian energy company Woodside, Bayer, the German chemicals company and UK listed mining group Glencore, the broad picture is one of continued resilience, especially in Europe, the US and Canada,

Beyond the broadly positive picture around the world, the first distributions from Meta and Alibaba will also add almost half a percentage point to global growth this year between them. Companies like these are recognising that paying dividends is an important route – beyond share buybacks – to return capital to their investors.”





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Janus Henderson Investors                           

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Notes to editors

Our headline growth rate describes the change in the total dollar amount paid by companies compared to the corresponding quarter each year. Our underlying figure adjusts for the distortion that can be caused by one-off special dividends, changing exchange rates, the effect of companies entering and leaving the global top 1,200 that comprise our index and the impact of changes in payment dates. The latter two tend to be negligible over the course of a whole year at the global level, though they can have a greater impact in any one quarter, geography or sector.

About Janus Henderson

Janus Henderson Group is a leading global active asset manager dedicated to helping clients define and achieve superior financial outcomes through differentiated insights, disciplined investments, and world-class service.

As of March 31, 2024, Janus Henderson had approximately US$353 billion in assets under management, more than 2,000 employees, and offices in 24 cities worldwide. The firm helps millions of people globally invest in a brighter future together. Headquartered in London, Janus Henderson is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).

Source: Janus Henderson Group plc


[1] IN Q1 2023, Volkswagen distributed spin-off proceeds from the Porsche listing and Moller Maersk paid out a portion of its exceptionally large profits caused by temporarily sky-high shipping rates.

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