Progressive dividend policy
For more than 30 years, Wolters Kluwer has increased or maintained its annual dividend per share in euros (or euro equivalent). In 2007, the company established a progressive dividend policy and, since 2011, all dividends are paid in cash. In 2015, we introduced an interim dividend payment, aligning cash distributions closer to our seasonal cash flow pattern.
Wolters Kluwer remains committed to a progressive dividend policy, under which we aim to increase the dividend per share in euros each year, independent of currency fluctuations. The pay-out ratio can vary from year to year. Proposed annual increases in the dividend per share take into account our financial performance, market conditions, and our need for financial flexibility. The policy takes into consideration the characteristics of our business, our expectations for future cash flows and our plans for organic investment in innovation and productivity, or for acquisitions. We balance these factors with the objective of maintaining strong balance sheet.
In light of our strong financial position and in view of our expected capital needs for the duration of our current three-year strategic plan (2019-2021), we are proposing to increase the total dividend per share for financial year 2019 by 20%. We will therefore recommend a final dividend of €0.79 per share, bringing the total dividend to €1.18 per share (2018: €0.98). The 2019 final dividend is subject to approval of shareholders at the Annual General Meeting on April 23, 2020.
2020 interim dividend
For 2020, we intend to maintain the interim distribution at 40% of prior year total dividend. Assuming the 2019 dividend is approved, this will result in a 2020 interim dividend of €0.47 per share.
Dividend dates are provided in our Calendar.
Shareholders can choose to reinvest both interim and final dividends by purchasing additional Wolters Kluwer shares through the Dividend Reinvestment Plan (DRIP) administered by ABN AMRO Bank NV.