The Board does not structure the Company’s balance sheet or underlying investments in order to deliver any target level of dividend.
As the Company’s shares are listed on the London Stock Exchange, it can take advantage of tax benefits available to investment trusts. This allows the Company to realise businesses from its portfolio without liability to corporation tax. The Board intends to retain this status so long as it is in shareholders’ interest to do so. This will require the Board to declare dividends so that not more than 15% of taxable income is retained each year.
The Board has received a wide range of Shareholder views in respect of the amount and timing of dividends and has decided from 2017 to change the dividend policy to align with this feedback.
The Board is recommending a final dividend of 46.0 pence per share to shareholders in respect of the 2016 financial year and it is anticipated that future dividends will be not less than this amount. Where possible, the Company will continue to ‘stream’ its income from interest-bearing investments as this reduces the tax charge payable by the Company.With effect from the 2017 financial year, the Board intends to declare an interim dividend payable in or around October each year.
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