THE world’s biggest companies paid out record total dividends in the second quarter helped by increasing corporate profitability with growth in the UK outpacing the global average analysts have found.

The latest global dividend index report from Janus Henderson found payouts jumped 12.9% per cent year-on-year in the second quarter to $497.4bn, comfortably hitting a new record.

“Rising corporate profitability is driving higher dividend payments in all parts of the world,” said the fund manager.

Records were broken in 12 countries, including France, Japan, and the United States.

Total payments in the UK fell 1.4% to $32.1bn from $32.5bn but Janus Henderson said the decline was due to much lower special dividends and timing factors.

National Grid paid a very large special last year after selling non-core assets.

In underlying terms UK payments increased by 13.1% compared with a 9.5% rise in global payments.

Janus Henderson said the rise in the UK was driven by the big global mining groups based in London, which have hiked dividends on the back of improving profits.

“Mining, though small in the global mix, delivered 20.7% underlying growth as the sector returned to health,” said the report.

Technology, energy and consumer cyclicals saw double digit growth. Payments by financial companies grew 9.6% in underlying terms with similar levels of growth in all regions.

Ben Lofthouse, head of global equity income at Janus Henderson noted: “Even in out-of-favour regions, such as Europe, dividends continue to increase, driven by ongoing economic and earnings growth.”

He said the impact on global trade of escalating tariff battles with the US could weigh on corporate profitability but the scale of the likely impact remained highly uncertain.

The report is based on dividends paid by the world’s 1200 biggest companies by stock market capitalisation.