UK Dividend Champions March 2016 Update

UK Dividend Champions List logo for March 2016 The UK Dividend Champions List March 2016 edition is now available at DividendChampions.UK.

Four companies were removed this month; two Contenders (10+ years), a Challenger (5) and a Near-Challenger (4).

Read on for the summary of changes this month.

Here’s an overview of the changes in the Calendar Year List this month – there’s a net loss of four companies to the list as 4 were removed and none were added. The updates this month mostly affected the Financial Year listings since the Calender Year changes won’t show up until the second half of the year.

Category March February
Champions (25+ years) 9 9
Contenders (10-24 years) 67 -2 69
Challengers (5-9 years) 168 -1 169
Near-Challengers (4 years) 37 -1 38
Total 281 285

New Entries & Promotions

There were no new entries and promotions this month; most of the updated dividend payments I processed won’t be taken into account until the second dividend payment later in the year.

Companies removed from the list

Company Symbol Old Rank Notes
BG Group plc BG. Contender (14) Acquired by Royal Dutch Shell (RDSB)
Amlin plc AML Contender (13) Acquired by Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Co (MSI)
Betfair plc BET Challenger (5) Acquired by Paddy Power Inc (PPB)
Telecity Group PLC TCY Near-Challenger (4) Acquired by Equinix Inc (NYSE:EQIX)

Other changes

UTV Media plc (UTV) changed its company name and ticker symbol. It’s now called Wireless Group plc (WLG).


Several companies froze or cut their dividend this month, however since the remaining CY dividend is unknown, I have not removed them from the list until their next dividend is declared.

The following companies have their dividend growth length highlighed in red in the list to indicate the lowered dividend payment. It’s very likely they will be removed later this year.

Company Symbol Old Rank Notes
Hargreaves Services plc HSP Contender (10) Interim dividend cut from 10.0p to 1.7p
SciSys PLC SSY Challenger (7) Interim dividend suspended
Rio Tinto plc RIO Challenger (6) 2016 dividend cut due from new dividend policy
Rolls-Royce Holdings plc RR. Challenger (6) 2015 H2 dividend cut
Connect Group PLC CNCT Challenger (6) 2015 H2 dividend cut from 6.6p to 6.3p

Other Updates

There were no other significant company position changes in the list.

Sector Summary

This section shows the companies organized into their stock sectors and the changes in each category from last month.

Sector Champions Contenders Challengers Near-Challengers Total
Basic Materials 0 3 4 0 7
Consumer Goods 3 5 14 1 23
Consumer Services 1 9 28 -1 5 43 -1
Financials 1 17 -1 49 8 75 -1
Health Care 0 4 5 1 10
Industrials 4 22 48 13 87
Oil & Gas 0 0 -1 2 3 5 -1
Technology 0 4 14 3 -1 21 -1
Telecommunications 0 1 3 1 5
Utilities 0 2 1 2 5
Total 9 67 -2 168 -1 37 -1 281

Financial Year Rankings

The Financial Year List is a work in progress and is not as complete as the Calendar Year List. Overall this month, one company was added and six were removed for a net loss of five.

Most notably, Weir Group plc with 25-years of FY dividend growth froze its dividend in FY 2015 and is removed from the list. It was previously eliminated from the Calendar Year list after re-scheduling its dividend payments.

FY Category March February
Dividend Growth 25+ years 11 -1 12
Dividend Growth 10-24 Years 63 -3 66
Dividend Growth 5-9 Years 46 +2 44
Dividend Growth 1 to 4 Years 33 -3 36
Total 153 -5 158

New FY Entries

The following companies were added to the FY Growth List.

Company Symbol Notes
Standard Life plc SL. Re-entered list with 1 year growth

Deleted FY Entries

The following companies were removed from the FY Growth List.

Company Symbol Notes
Weir Group plc WEIR 26 Years – Dividend freeze
GlaxoSmithKline plc GSK 24 Years – Dividend freeze
Reckitt Benckiser Group plc RB. 12 Years – Dividend freeze
Rolls-Royce Holdings plc RR. 10 Years – Dividend cut
Amlin plc AML 3 Years – Acquired by Equinix Inc (NYSE:EQIX)
Anglo American plc AAL 1 Year – Dividend cut

Other FY Changes

The table below shows the other changes in the FY list this month for companies with 5+ years of growth.

Company Symbol Notes
Brunner Investment Trust plc BUT Increased length from 43 to 44 years
Temple Bar Investment Trust plc TMPL Increased length from 31 to 32 years
Spectris Group plc SXS Increased length from 26 to 27 years
Bunzl plc BNZL Increased length from 22 to 23 years
Derwent London DLN Increased length from 22 to 23 years
Interserve plc IRV Increased length from 19 to 20 years
Ultra Electronics Holdings plc ULE Increased length from 18 to 19 years
British American Tobacco plc BATS Increased length from 14 to 15 years
Capita plc CPI Increased length from 14 to 15 years
Pearson plc PSON Increased length from 13 to 14 years
Beazley plc BEZ Increased length from 12 to 13 years
UBM plc UBM Increased length from 12 to 13 years
BAE Systems plc BA. Increased length from 11 to 12 years
St. James’s Place plc STJ Increased length from 11 to 12 years
William Hill plc WMH Increased length from 6 to 7 years
Berendsen plc BRSN Increased length from 5 to 6 years
GKN plc GKN Increased length from 5 to 6 years
Hammerson plc HMSO Increased length from 5 to 6 years
InterContinental Hotels Group plc IHG Increased length from 5 to 6 years
International Personal Finance plc IPF Increased length from 5 to 6 years
Meggitt plc MGGT Increased length from 5 to 6 years
Mondi plc MNDI Increased length from 5 to 6 years
National Express Group plc NEX Increased length from 5 to 6 years
Rio Tinto plc RIO Increased length from 5 to 6 years – based on currency rates for FY15 vs FY14
BP plc BP. Increased length from 4 to 5 years
Reed Elsevier plc REL Increased length from 4 to 5 years

Investment Trusts

The list still contains Investment Trusts; you can easily identify them by filtering the Sector column “F” for Equity Investment Instruments, where you can either include or exclude them when viewing the list.

Fundamental Data

Entries in the list that have a “Founded” column have been manually researched and checked. The Dividend per Share and yield for these entries were calculated as of 31st December.

Dividend yield is calculated as the last 12 months of most recent dividend declarations divided by the current share price. Special dividends are also not included in yield or DPS calculations as a general rule (there are one or two exceptions), so actual yields may be higher.

All dividend history data that I have is posted on DividendChampions.UK. The Excel file limits the length to the last 15 years.

Please keep in mind that the fundamental data will get increasingly out of date as the month progresses. You should always perform your own research and due diligence on any potential stock purchase and nothing in this post or the List is a recommendation to buy or sell.

The List includes AIM-listed companies which may be more volatile than larger FTSE-listed companies. The List includes the index (Column C) and the Market Cap (Column O) which can be used to filter out smaller companies.

List Corrections

Current file version is dated 13-Mar-16.

13-Mar-16: Hargreaves Lansdown plc added back into FY Growth List.
08-Mar-16: Corrected Brunner Investment Trust plc dividend length.
04-Mar-16: Initial release.

Status update

The good: I’ve highlighted companies that are pending removal from the list.

The bad: It still looks strange that companies which have declared cuts such as Rio Tinto aren’t removed from the list until the complete reporting year catches up.


That’s it for March. The List is usually available on DividendChampions.UK on the first Monday of the month even if I don’t blog about it.

Please let me know if you see any errors in the List, thank you!

Quote of the day

That man is a success who has lived well, laughed often and loved much.

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