Within the Q3 announcement the Company confirmed and unchanged Q3 payment of 19 pence and that they expect the full year dividend for 2014 to be 80 pence which would be up by 3% year on year. This however compares to current consensus forecasts of 80.8 pence so a small downgrade to expectations there. More serious though was the fact that they also said that next years dividend for 2015 would be unchanged at the same level of 80 pence. This compares to consensus forecast of 82.8 pence so a more significant 3.4% reduction in expectations there then.
The one positive offset to this disappointing news is that they confirmed the likely special dividend of £4 billion next year once the proposed disposal is complete. I estimate this will be roughly equivalent to the full year dividend of 80 pence.
Thereafter, as I have written before, with the new Chairman arriving and the possibility of splitting the business I suspect there may be a risk that they could then use that as an opportunity to "re-base" the overall pay out.