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FTSE 100 Dividends Advance 8%

One of the most popular funds tracking the FTSE 100 (FTSEINDICES: ^FTSE), the iShares FTSE 100 (LSE: ISF) exchange-traded fund (ETF), today confirmed dividends from the blue-chip index had advanced 8% during 2013.

News this morning of a forthcoming 5.15p per share payout from the iShares FTSE 100 now means the ETF has declared dividends of 21.94p per share during the last twelve months — up from 20.27p per share on the preceding twelve months.

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The annual dividend from the FTSE 100 ETF is now 2% greater than the pre-banking crash peak of 21.56p per share, which was declared during the twelve months to February 2009.

The ETF’s latest payout underlined how dividends from Britain’s 100 largest companies have continued to advance following the widespread cuts seen during the financial crisis:

12 months to November iShares FTSE 100 dividend (p per share)
2007 19.07
2008 20.20
2009 17.14
2010 16.18
2011 18.13
2012 20.27
2013 21.94

Source: iShares.com

Recent dividends from the iShares FTSE 100 may have been bolstered by good results from major blue-chip shares. Indeed, members of the FTSE 100 raising their payouts of late include BT, with a 13% advance, Burberry, with a 10% advance, and J Sainsbury, with a 4% advance.

The possibility of even greater returns

While index trackers such as the iShares FTSE 100 are a great way of capturing the long-term collective power of British companies and the stock market, there are always individual shares that have better dividend records — and could deliver better returns — than the wider index.

Right now, the iShares FTSE 100 trades at around 669p and therefore presents today’s buyers with a 3.3% yield — a reasonable if not spectacular income.

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> Maynard does not own any share mentioned in this article. The Motley Fool has recommended shares in Burberry.