BUSINESS LIVE: UK dividends to ease; De La Rue issues profit warning

BUSINESS LIVE: UK dividends set for subdued 2022; L&G boss slams levelling up efforts; De La Rue issues profit warning

UK-listed companies brought back their dividends strongly last year after being forced to slash payouts as the Covid crisis hit in 2020, with 2021 ending significantly better than the prior year for income-chasing investors.

However, inflation, tax hikes and continued disruption caused by the pandemic will make for a challenging backdrop for many companies and their ability to pay dividends in 2022.

The boss of Legal & General has criticised the Government’s levelling up efforts as data showed the UK had taken ‘a step back’ in some areas of life.

L&G’s Rebuilding Britain Index, which tracks quality of life, showed that in 12 months there had been declines in healthcare and housing access, but less unemployment.

Banknote printer De La Rue has warned its annual profit is set to come in below market expectations on lower output, due to increased employee absences at its manufacturing facilities globally as a result of coronavirus infections.

The company said other challenges such as the chip crisis and supply chain cost inflation were also delaying its turnaround plan.

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De La Rue forecast adjusted operating profit for the year to be in the range of £36 million to £40million, versus market expectations of £45million to £47million