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3 FTSE Dividends Lifted This Week: The Sage Group plc, DS Smith plc and Greene King plc

After finishing on an eight-week low of 6,498 points yesterday, the FTSE 100 (FTSEINDICES: ^FTSE) has recovered 24 points to 6,522 by mid-morning. But it’s still almost certain to put in its fifth losing week in a row, having dropped 128 points since last Friday’s close. And although the index had been up around 15% on the year, it has now fallen back to a gain of only a bit over 10%.

But what helps compensate for these short-term ups and downs? Dividends! Here are three companies from the FTSE indices that have lifted their payments this week:

Sage

Business software maker Sage Group (LSE: SGE) released full-year results on Wednesday, and announced a 6% rise in its annual dividend to 11.32p per share.

Although statutory pre-tax profit fell 51% to£164.1m, the firm told us its underlying figure was pretty flat — actually a 1% rise. Earnings per share (EPS) again provided a statutory fall, this time of 79%, but there was an underlying rise of 12% to 22.27p. All this came from underlying revenue of £1,261m, up 4%.

The share price spiked on the day, up 26% to 373p, and is a fraction of a penny back from that today for a rise of more than 25% over the past 12 months.

DS Smith

For a bigger dividend rise, we only need to look to DS Smith (LSE: SMDS), as the recycled packaging supplier boosted its interim dividend by a very nice 28% this week to 3.2p per share, with results that have helped push the share price up more than 40% over the past 12 months to 310p.

A similar rise in the final dividend would give us a total of 10.2p per share for a yield of 3.3%, just ahead of the FTSE’s forecast average of 3.1%.

Results were strong across the board, with revenue up 25% to £2,081m, pre-tax profit up 52% to £85m and EPS up 30% to 11.2p per share.

Greene King

Brewer Greene King (LSE: GNK) is our third pick for today, after lifting its interim dividend 6.3% to 7.6p per share in line with a similar 6.3% rise adjusted EPS. Sales gained 5.2% to £566.2m.

 The share price is up more than 35% over 12 months to 856p today, and a total annual dividend rise of 6.3% would see a yield of 3.3% on that price.

Analysts are currently predicting slightly more than that, from an expected 10% rise in full-year EPS to 61p.

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> Alan does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned.