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3 FTSE Dividends Lifted This Week: Wolseley plc, James Halstead PLC and St. Ives plc

The FTSE 100 (FTSEINDICES: ^FTSE) is losing ground this week, down 59 points to 6,454 by early afternoon Friday. And unless the remainder of the day brings a dramatic reversal, we’ll be looking at three weeks of losses on the trot for the UK’s main index.

If you’re investing for dividends, you can search for good yields and take the cash, and look upon any long-term share price rises as a bonus. And if you did that, you’d be very likely to beat a savings account, with the FTSE 100 offering an average 3.2% forward yield — and you should be able to do even better by going for the higher yielders.

So which companies are paying out? Here are three from the FTSE indices lifting their dividends this week:

Wolseley

The big dividend news of the week came from Wolseley (LSE: WOS), when the heating and plumbing merchant revealed a final dividend of 44p per share to take its total for the year up 10% to 66p — and announced a one-off special dividend.

With chief executive Ian Meakins talking of “the group’s strong financial position and our desire to maintain an efficient and sustainable balance sheet“, the company told us it is going to return £300m to shareholders through a special dividend payment, accompanied by a share consolidation.

The annual payment does represent a yield of only 2.4% on the current share price of 3,165p, but with the special dividend to come and the share price up more than 15% over 12 months, shareholders have done pretty well.

James Halstead

Flooring products maker James Halstead (LSE: JHD) reported a mixed set of full-year results, with revenue down 4.1% to £217.1m and pre-tax profit down 3.5% to £41.2m, but earnings per share gained 1% to 14.8p.

The firm lifted its final dividend by 9.1% to 6p per share, raising the total for the year by 9.4% to 8.75p. With the share price on 295p, that’s a yield of 3%, which is a bit less than average.

Chief executive Mark Halstead said that “We remain highly profitable and cash generative which underpins our ability and intention to continue our record of dividends“.

St. Ives

Print and marketing services firm St. Ives (LSE: SIV) is our third for today, and even without a dividend its shareholders have done very well this year — the price is up around 90% to 175p over 12 months.

In full-year results released this week, a final dividend of 4.5p was announced, providing a total for the year of 6.5p per share. That’s 13% up on a year ago, and offers a pretty decent yield of 3.7%.

And even after their performance over the past year, the shares are still on a forward P/E of only just over 10.

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> Alan does not own any shares mentioned in this article.