The Company has now moved to four interim quarterly dividend payments.
On 26 April 2017, the Group announced its move to quarterly dividends with effect from 1 January 2018. Further to that announcement, the Board has declared an interim dividend of 195.2p per ordinary share of 25p, payable in four equal quarterly instalments of 48.8p per ordinary share in May 2018, August 2018, November 2018 and February 2019. This represents an increase of 15.2% on 2016 (2016: 169.4p per share), and a payout ratio, on 2017 adjusted diluted earnings per share, of 69%.
As part of the transition to quarterly dividend payments, the Group committed that shareholders would receive the equivalent amount of total cash payment in 2018 as they would have under the previous payment policy.
Based upon 65% of 2017 earnings, under the previous calculation methodology, shareholders would have expected to receive a final dividend of 128.4p in May 2018 and an interim dividend of 61.6p in September 2018, being equivalent to one third of the dividend in respect of 2017, with a total dividend expected to be received in 2018 of 190.0p.
A second interim dividend of 43.6p (equivalent to 25% of the cash dividend paid in 2017) was announced on 5 December 2017 and was paid on 8 February 2018. This second interim dividend and the three quarterly dividend amounts payable in the calendar year 2018 (May, August and November), ensure that shareholders receive the equivalent cash amount during the year as they would have under the previous payment policy.
The quarterly dividends will be paid to shareholders registered on either the UK main register or the South Africa branch register and to holders of American Depositary Shares (ADSs), each on the applicable record dates set out under the heading ‘Key Dates’ below.
For holders of ADSs listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), the record dates and payment dates are set out below. The equivalent quarterly dividends receivable by holders of ADSs in US dollars will be calculated based on the exchange rate on the applicable payment date. A fee of US$0.005 per ADS will be charged by Citibank, N.A. in its capacity as depositary bank for the BAT American Depositary Receipt (“ADR”) programme in respect of each quarterly dividend payment.
In accordance with the JSE Limited (JSE) Listing Requirements, the finalisation information relating to shareholders registered on the South Africa branch register (comprising the amount of the dividend in South African rand, the exchange rate and the associated conversion date) will be published on the dates stated below, together with South Africa dividends tax information.
The quarterly dividends are regarded as ‘foreign dividends’ for the purposes of the South Africa Dividends Tax. For the purposes of South Africa Dividends Tax reporting, the source of income for the payment of the quarterly dividends is the United Kingdom.
In compliance with the requirements of the London Stock Exchange (LSE), the NYSE and Strate, the electronic settlement and custody system used by the JSE, the following salient dates for the quarterly dividends payments are applicable. All dates are 2018, unless otherwise stated.
|Preliminary announcement (includes declaration data required for JSE purposes)||22 February|
|Publication of finalisation information (JSE)||12 March*||19 June||25 September||13 December|
|No removal requests permitted between the UK main register and the South Africa branch register||12 March to 23 March (inclusive)||19 June to 29 June (inclusive)||25 September to 5 October (inclusive)||13 December to 28 December (inclusive)|
|Last Day to Trade (LDT) cum dividend (JSE)||19 March||26 June||2 October||21 December|
|Shares commence trading ex-dividend (JSE)||20 March||27 June||3 October||24 December|
|No transfers permitted between the UK main register and the South Africa branch register||20 March to 23 March (inclusive)||27 June to 29 June (inclusive)||3 October to 5 October (inclusive)||24 December to 28 December (inclusive)|
|No shares may be dematerialised or rematerialised on the South Africa branch register||20 March to 23 March (inclusive)||27 June to 29 June (inclusive)||3 October to 5 October (inclusive)||24 December to 28 December (inclusive)|
Shares commence trading ex-dividend
(LSE and NYSE)
|22 March||28 June||4 October||27 December|
(JSE, LSE and NYSE)
|23 March||29 June||5 October||28 December|
|Last date for receipt of Dividend Reinvestment Plan (DRIP) elections (LSE)||17 April||18 July||25 October||17 January 2019|
|Payment date (LSE and JSE)||9 May||8 August||15 November||7 February 2019|
|ADS payment date (NYSE)||14 May||13 August||20 November||12 February 2019|
Letters to shareholders regarding the introduction of quarterly dividend payments from 2018: