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Dividends paid by the UK companies listed on the Alternative Investment Market are set to burst through the £1 billion mark for the first time.

  • Dividends in the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) tripled between 2012 and 2018, almost three times faster than main market dividend growth
  • Increasing maturity of many AIM companies, the larger size of new listings, and a speedier path to dividend payment are behind the trend
  • Only one-third of AIM companies pays a dividend, compared to four fifths on the main market
  • But AIM dividends depend less on a few large companies and have a broad sector mix
  • The yield on dividend-paying AIM companies is a respectable 2.1%
  • Link expects 19.6% growth in 2018 to a record £1.16bn, with at least 14% further growth in 2019

Justin Cooper, CEO of Link Market Services said:

“We rightly associate AIM with young companies, hungry for capital to grow. The value of capital being returned to investors via dividends is still much smaller than the amount being raised for investment, but the speed at which dividends are growing shows that more and more companies are coming of age, and reaching that important milestone where they generate more cash than they absorb. It’s frankly astonishing to see such consistent and such dramatic growth year in, year out.

“Three factors lie behind the trend to higher AIM payments. First, and most importantly, many companies on AIM are maturing, so distribution is becoming an important part of their investment story. Secondly, the size of new companies joining AIM is larger, and larger companies generally tend to pay bigger dividends. Finally, new companies joining AIM are paying dividends at an earlier stage than in the past.”