Dividend Season Champions


The majority of Belgian stock dividends are growing. In Bel 20, but also – and especially – on the side of smaller companies.

Following the announcement of the results of companies listed on the Brussels Stock Exchange or at general meetings, it is certainly the time of payment of dividends that the shareholders of the companies most like. Proximus will be inaugurated in Bel 20, as it has been for several years. The Belgian telecom operator will allocate on April 24 the gross amount of 1 euro per share.

Coupon number 28, which will make this transaction a reality, will be highlighted shortly before the opening of the day's trading session. In the jargon of the world of finance, it is said that the action of Proximus will quote "ex-dividends." Just two business days later, on April 26, it will be effectively paid to those who performed the action until the time of their secondment.

Then AG

Following an identical procedure, ING and WDP will take over from Proximus on April 25. Then it will be the turn ofUCB April 27, fromUmicore April 29 and GBL April 30th. Most of the other members of the main index of the Brussels Stock Exchange will participate in this exercise as the days of May. this is Ontex which will close the dividend season on Bel 20 on May 31. Still, because of an exercise off the wall, this role will Colruyt which usually pays its shareholders until the end of September.

Ontex is the five-year dividend growth champion, up 115%.

Dividends are generally paid in the days following the Ordinary General Meetings (AGO) held by the shareholders. Because? For the simple reason that they are asked to agree to the proposed amount. An approach that seems to be quite symbolic in that the amounts proposed by directors as dividends are generally acquired.

In memory of a colleague, there is no memory that AG shareholders have been able to change them. With rare exceptions, Ageas and Cofinimmo Among other things, which have a very fragmented share, managers are often in the sphere of benchmark shareholders who, in GA, are the most influential group at the time of voting.

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11 dividends above

So much for the technical details. Let us now look at what the leaders of the companies Bel 20 propose to their shareholders regarding the exercise of 2018. As last year, at the same time, of the 19 who voted on the subject, 11 propose a dividend increase. The bosses undeniably make a good effort when we know that the profits have increased to 9 Bel 20 companies and decreased to 8 others.

As of 12 months ago, the number of companies raising their dividends could rise to 12 if, according to analysts' estimates, Bloomberg Colruyt will announce an additional improvement in its dividend in September. These analysts see an additional increase of 4.1% from the gross amount to 1.27 euro.

KBC the most generous

Aperam Last year, he made the biggest effort, raising his annual dividend by 20 percent. This year, it's the banker. KBC who takes the title of champion. Its final dividend increases by 25%. It reaches 2,50 euros gross. That said, the increase in KBC's total dividend to 2018 (down payment + balance) is less substantial. It amounts to 16.6% for a total of 3.50 gross euros. KBC is followed by Boat (+ 9.5%), newly arrived in Bel 20's composition since March,Umicore (+ 6.7%) and WDP (+ 6.67%), another new member of the index.

KBC wins the title of champion. Its final dividend increases by 25%.

For 6 Bel 20 companies, the dividends that will be paid in the coming weeks are called "balances" or "endings." These companies had already paid an "entrance" in their dividend a few months ago. In addition to KBC, this will be the case of Proximus, ING, Umicore, AB InBev and Solvay. Aperam is the only Bel 20 company to allocate dividend payments in four quarters.

For two companies, the dividend amount remains unchanged. This is Proximus and Cofinimmo. It should be noted that the property manager will pay your dividend through two coupons. The first (no. 33) has already been released on June 20, 2018 and the second (no. 34) will be released on May 13. These two coupons will be paid from May 15.

The ads among the most disappointing were the fact of 3 companies against 1 last year (Engie has just come out of Bel 20). This isAB InBev which, in order to contain its mountain of debt, reduced its dividend by 50%. Although in smaller proportions, theOntex followed a similar trajectory, as did the specialist in stainless steel Aperam following the decline of its results in 2018. Ontex lowered its value by 31.6% and Aperam by 2.8%.

Finally, as twelve months ago, two companies are paying the dividend. These are the biotechnological groups Argenx and Galapagos.

The promise of Telenet

Telenet now plans to allocate among its 111 million shares that constitute its capital, an amount that represents 50 to 70% of its free operating cash flow.

As for TelenetThe cable operator, which last October paid an unusual gross amount of € 2.80 per share, has yet to make a statement on the matter so far. We just know that it now plans to allocate among its 111 million shares that constitute its capital, an amount that represents 50 to 70% of its operating cash flow free. This is at least a turning point in dividend policy for this operator, now based on the profits he makes. Last year, the distribution of a dividend was made using a debt issue of close to 600 million euros!

By 2019, Telenet plans to realize cash flows between 380 and 400 million. This allows to expect, for the next year, a gross dividend between 1.7 and 2.5 euros per share.

Dividends over 5 years

Overall, the pace of dividend growth has been lower in the last five years than in the early 2000s. Several factors may explain this. As economic growth generally weaker and inflation lower than before the financial crisis of 2008-2009. But again, the restraint shown by more and more corporate executives in managing their finances in a business environment becomes more uncertain. His desire to prioritize investments in shareholder compensation is also an explanation.

Some companies have done more than satisfy their shareholders.

That said, the fact is that some companies have achieved more than satisfying their shareholders. Due to the gradual recovery of the value of its dividends after the financial crisis, and although the current level of its dividend remains lower than before the crisis, KBC (+ 250%) and Ageas (+ 57%) were the companies that signed the best dividend growth since 2014.

In addition to the financial sector, Ontex deserves the title of champion in this record. Since its return to the Brussels Stock Exchange in June 2014, and despite the 31.6% decline in the dividend declared for 2018, the dividend amount has increased by 115%! Nor is it negligible, the dividend growth was 27% AvH (compared with + 46% between 2000 and 2004) in the last five years, and 25% at Umicore. Some sobs were still raised. They are the particular fact ofAB InBev (-50%), a former champion in dividend growth, and Proximus (-31%).

Outside the Bel 20

A brief overview of smaller companies, those that are not part of the composition of Bel 20, may be worth it. Many of these companies have little blame for the efforts they make to pay their shareholders. This is evidenced by the 50% increase in the Resilux only for the year 2018, 49% Lotus bakeries, 20% a Fagron, 19% a Texaf, by 16% to VGP, by 11% to Spadel, 10.7% in the Sioen or 10% to Brederode to cite only these examples. To celebrate the centenary of his company, the construction specialist Moury Construct proposes an exceptional doubling of its dividend.

In 5 years, the concern of managers of these companies in harming their shareholders is no less significant.

In 5 years, the concern of managers of these companies in harming their shareholders is no less significant. The dividend amount increased by 300% in Jensen Groupfrom 133% to Lotus bakeries, from 120% to Melexisfrom 102% to Texaffrom 87% to Sioen, 61% a Spadel, 60% a Have beke and 58% to Resilux.

Some "failures" should be noted, such as EVS (-50%), Van de velde (-70%) and Euronav (-92%) in particular.

Small Booster

Since the dematerialization of securities in progress since 2014, the shareholder has no further measures to be taken to receive the dividend. The amount due to you will be automatically paid by your financial institution where your securities portfolio is located.

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Those who, for example, have discovered old securities of companies still existing in a corner of their attic are not concerned with such dividend payment transactions. Since the issuers sold all bearer securities that were still outstanding in 2015, it became essential that they go to the Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations (CDC) to recover the value of these securities. securities. That is before the end of the year 2025. Because, as of 2026, these securities will lose all value.

The CDC, which reports to the Belgian Ministry of Finance, is located at avenue des Arts, 1040 Brussels.


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