UK Dividend History – Financial vs Calendar Year

In maintaining the UK Dividend Champions List, I’ve chosen to measure dividend growth length based on a company’s Ex-Dividend Date using a Calendar Year basis rather than Financial Year. In this post I look at the difference of Financial vs Calendar Year and its impact on the dividend growth history of some UK companies.

Financial vs Calendar Year

Making this decision simplifies the calculation since it doesn’t require knowledge of each company’s financial year end date. It also puts all companies in the list on the same playing field since there can be some major differences in financial reporting timeframes.

On the other hand, it can result in some discrepancies especially when a company announces publically that they’ve “increased dividends for xx number of years”. Such announcements are invariably based on Financial Year results and only match the Calendar Year calculations if the Financial Year ends in December and if the financial year date hasn’t changed for all of that period.

Here’s one example where the Calendar Year basis gives a shorter history so you can see what I mean.

GlaxoSmithKline plc (GSK)

Ex-Dividend Date Amount (GBX) Financial Year
18-Feb 2004 14 2003 (Q4)
12-May 2004 10 2004 (Q1)
4-Aug 2004 10 2004 (Q2)
3-Nov 2004 10 2004 (Q3)
16-Feb 2005 12 2004 (Q4)
1-May 2005 10 2005 (Q1)
3 Aug 2005 10 2005 (Q2)
2-Nov 2005 10 2005 (Q3)
15-Feb 2006 14 2005 (Q4)

On a Calendar Year basis, GSK paid £0.44 in 2004 and £0.42 in 2005. This reduction in dividends shortened its dividend growth record by my calculations and I show it as a 9-Year Dividend Challenger. However on a Financial Year basis, the dividends continued to increase (£0.42 in FY2004 and £0.44 in FY2005) and it has a much longer growth history on a FY basis (24 years).

Of course this works both ways and companies such as Burberry plc (BRBY) have a longer CY dividend growth history than their FY record shows (13 years vs. 5 years). So it’s swings and roundabouts really.

Anyway, now that my database is up and running (though needing a lot more data entered), I can calculate the length both ways. Here’s a list of the companies that I’ve tracked so far on a Financial Year basis along with their Calendar Year equivalent.

Please note that this list contains companies that aren’t in the UK Dividend Champions List since their CY dividend history is too short (< 4 years).

UK Dividend Growth History by Calendar Year

If there’s any interest in this Financial Year view, I’m willing to include it as a standalone sheet in the List for reference since there’s no extra work to export it out now.

Symbol Company FY CY Index
DGE Diageo plc 26 26 FTSE-100
DNO Domino Printing Sciences plc 26 25 FTSE-250
PZC PZ Cussons plc 26 26 FTSE-250
SXS Spectris Group plc 26 25 FTSE-250
VOD Vodafone Group plc 26 20 FTSE-100
WEIR Weir Group plc 26 25 FTSE-100
GSK GlaxoSmithKline plc 24 9 FTSE-100
COB Cobham plc 23 28 FTSE-250
RPS RPS Group plc 23 13 FTSE-250
BNZL Bunzl plc 22 21 FTSE-100
FSJ James Fisher and Sons plc 21 20 FTSE-250
RPC RPC Group plc 21 22 FTSE-250
SRP Serco Group plc 21 0 FTSE-250
SMJ J. Smart & Co. plc 20 20 FTSE-FL
DWHT Dewhurst plc 19 18 None
IRV Interserve plc 19 18 FTSE-250
YNGA Young & Co’s Brewery plc 19 25 AIM-100
AMFW AMEC Foster Wheeler plc 18 18 FTSE-250
HCFT Highcroft Investments plc 18 18 FTSE-FL
ULE Ultra Electronics Holdings plc 17 18 FTSE-250
BNKR The Bankers Investment Trust plc 16 15 FTSE-250
CRDA Croda International plc 16 22 FTSE-250
ABF Associated British Foods plc 15 9 FTSE-100
SSE SSE plc 14 14 FTSE-100
GNS Genus plc 13 13 FTSE-250
ROR Rotork plc 13 25 FTSE-250
SYR Synergy Health plc 13 0 FTSE-250
LTC Latchways plc 12 12 None
TRG TR European Growth Trust PLC 12 12 FTSE-A/S
DPH Dechra Pharmaceuticals plc 11 11 FTSE-250
FOUR 4Imprint plc 11 5 FTSE-A/S
SKY Sky plc 11 11 FTSE-100
TET Treatt plc 11 10 FTSE-FL
CSN Chesnara plc 10 11 FTSE-A/S
JD. JD Sports Fashion plc 10 10 FTSE-250
SHP Shire Pharmaceuticals Group plc 10 11 FTSE-100
ABC Abcam plc 9 9 AIM-100
ADN Aberdeen Asset Management plc 9 9 FTSE-100
EDIN Edinburgh Investment Trust plc 9 3 FTSE-250
IDH Immunodiagnostic Systems plc 9 9 AIM-100
IGG IG Group Holdings plc 9 9 FTSE-250
ABD Aberdeen New Dawn Investment Trust plc 8 8 FTSE-A/S
CTH CareTech Holdings plc 8 7 AIM-A/S
3IN 3i Infrastructure plc 7 0 FTSE-250
AAIF Aberdeen Asian Income Fund Limited 6 0 FTSE-A/S
ANCR Animalcare Group plc 6 6 AIM-A/S
ANP Anpario plc 6 6 AIM-A/S
APH Alliance Pharma plc 5 6 AIM-A/S
BRBY Burberry Group plc 5 13 FTSE-100
DJAN Daejan Holdings plc 5 5 FTSE-250
AMS Advanced Medical Solutions Group plc 4 2 AIM-100
EAH ECO Animal Health Group plc 4 4 AIM-A/S
GNK Greene King plc 4 5 FTSE-250
WPP WPP plc 4 22 FTSE-100

This is not a complete list either as I’ve only manually reviewed about 87 companies so far. I have another 1,391 stocks to look at! 😉

I’m aware that some of the companies may have longer dividend growth histories than I’ve shown. I use only lengths that I can prove from historical reports or accounts – generally most records stop around 1997 for UK companies with some limited data available from 1990 onwards. This tends to limit the maximum history to about 26 years.

The above list also uses my latest data so it includes updates that are not yet included in the March version of the UK Dividend Champions List (e.g. DGE’s increased dividend growth history). I figured you deserve some small reward for reading to the end of this post!


Quote of the day

The investor of today does not profit from yesterday’s growth.

7 thoughts on “UK Dividend History – Financial vs Calendar Year”

  1. This is such a fantastic resource, can’t appreciate you enough. I think it’s really helpful to have both types of year calculations.


  2. DL,

    For my own list I use the calendar year too instead of the financial or fiscal years. Many European companies have different ways of doing things, so it would become a mess quickly. Keeping track of the year a dividend was actually paid makes things much simpler and easier to maintain.

    If it’s not much extra work, I’d report both the financial and calendar year!

    Thank you for maintaining the UK list – it’s an invaluable resource to many of us.

    Best wishes,

    1. Hi NMW,

      Hmm…do you base your list on the ex-dividend date or the payment date? I use the ex-dividend date as it’s more readily available.

      I’ve found a lot of mistakes between Yahoo, Google and other major sources of UK dividend data so I’ve been researching companies manually of late to verify it all. Between duplicate dividend entries, wrong currency conversion, missed stock-splits and even confusion between pounds and pence, it’s amazing how bad the online data can be.

      I add the FY information when I manually check a company so I only have it for the stocks I’ve checked so far but I’ll include what I have in the generated report next month.

      Thanks for your support!

      Best wishes,

      1. DL,

        That’s a really good question. I always use the payment date, but there’s hardly ever any difference when a calendar year is concerned between the ex-dividend and payment date since many European companies only pay a dividend once every year between March and June.

        The data online is horrendous! I never thought making and keeping a list like ours would be so much work. Even the information on many corporate websites is atrocious. Stock splits, mergers, and demergers are the worst.


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