FINANCE NEWS: Dividend increases bring good news to charity portfolios

Charity investments may have taken a battering over the past three years, but there is good news on dividends, according to fund manager Schroders.

New research from the firm reveals that most of the UK's top companies which reported their final results in the first quarter of this year have increased dividends. Among companies in the FTSE-350 companies, those raising dividends outnumber those cutting them by 10 to one.

Of the 154 companies reporting in the first quarter of this year, 107 increased total dividends, 13 reduced them and 34 kept them at the same level. BP, Shell Transport & Trading, Aggregate Industries, and HBOS were among companies with increased dividends.

Humphrey van der Klugt, manager of the Schroder Income Fund, said: "Over the past year, we have been shifting the emphasis of the portfolio from 'deep value' stocks that have an above average yield, to those offering the prospect of rising dividends in the long term."

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