Belgian food retailer Colruyt shocks with first dividend cut in decades

Colruyt logo 2022
Colruyt had one of the best dividend track records in Europe.

The Belgian supermarket chain Colruyt, comparable to Kroger in the United States, will lower its dividend in 2022 for the first time in more than 30 years. The share has already fallen far on the Brussels stock exchange in recent years.

A black day for Colruyt shareholders, because the Belgian family business announced a gross dividend of €1.10 per share for the 2021/2022 financial year. That is a 25% decrease compared to last year, when a record dividend of €1.47 was paid.

Colruyt's dividend cut ends one of the strongest dividend track records in Europe, because Colruyt had not reduced its dividend for more than 30 years in a row and has announced a nice dividend increase for the past six years.

Chart Colruyt
Colruyt has touched a 16 year low this week after the dividend cut

The lower dividend of €1.10 gross per share still gives a very high dividend yield of 5.4% for the Colruyt share, which, like many European shares, only pays out once a year. The ex-dividend date is not yet announced by Colruyt.

On the stock exchange in Brussels (Euronext), the Colruyt share fell 29% this year, following a 23% price loss in 2021. At a price of €26.50, the share reached a lowest price in 16 years after poor annual figures and a weak outlook . Colruyt saw its profit for 2021/2022 fall by 25% to €288 million and has indicated that it expects an even further deterioration in the coming year.

Colruyt is a Belgian company which is engaged in retail and wholesale of food products. Colruyt has a portfolio of food and non-food formats, in Belgium, France and Luxembourg. The company had been paying a steady or higher dividend for more than three decades before a cut was announced in 2022.

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