LONDON -- The FTSE 100 (FTSEINDICES: ^FTSE ) has suffered a bit of a reversal over the past week. After reaching a 13-year high of 6,876 on May 22, the index of top U.K. shares has since dropped 293 points to today's close of 6,583. But the fall has at least boosted the index's average forward dividend yield a little to 3.2%. But if you're investing for income, you can do probably better than that.
We take a look at three companies that have lifted their dividends this week.
Severn Trent (LSE: SVT )
Severn Trent raised its full-year dividend by 8.2% to 75.85 pence per share on Thursday after reporting a 3.4% rise in full-year turnover, a 37.3% rise in pre-tax profits, and an 11.2% rise in adjusted earnings per share. The payment consists of a final dividend of 45.51 pence to be added to the earlier interim 30.34 pence.
On the current share price of 2,052 pence, the dividend represents a yield of 3.7%, which is pretty good for such a dependable payer. In fact, with Severn Trent's policy of growing its dividend by RPI plus 3% each year, the firm has already indicated an expected 80.4 pence for the year to March 2014 for a rise of 6%.
Tate & Lyle (LSE: TATE )
Tate & Lyle also released full-year results on Thursday, revealing a 5% rise in sales. Adjusted pre-tax profit and adjusted earnings per share both gained 4%, allowing the firm to declare a final dividend of 18.8 pence per share, taking the full-year total up 5.2% to 26.2 pence. The shares are currently trading at 825 pence, giving a yield of 3.2%, which is bang on that FTSE average.
Forecasts for next year suggest another 4% rise in earnings and a 5% boost to the dividend to 27.5 pence per share. But those were made before this week's results, so we'll need to wait for any possible reevaluation.
Victrex (LSE: VCT )
It was interim time for Victrex on Tuesday, and the plastics specialist told us of a modest rise in EPS from 41.6 pence to 41.7 pence. But that had no adverse effect on the company's "progressive dividend policy," and we saw the interim dividend raised by 15% to 10.35 pence per share -- and that comes after a 16% rise in the 2012 final dividend. We were told that the payment "reflects the Board's confidence in the future growth prospects for the business."
For the full year, analyst are currently forecasting a 10% rise in the total dividend to about 41.3 pence, which would provide a yield of 2.4% on the current share price of 1,702 pence.
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