dividends at a record level for 2021

According to the NGO “Observatory of Multinationals”, the dividends paid reached 57.5 billion euros in 2021, bringing in particular 2.4 billion euros to the Arnault family.

Dividends paid by companies in the CAC 40 reached a record amount of 57.5 billion euros in 2021, bringing in particular 2.4 billion euros to the Arnault family and 2 billion to the American fund Blackrock, calculated the NGO “Multinationals Observatory“.

Drowned in profits“which have exploded compared to the year 2020 weighed down by the Covid-19, the groups of the main French stock market index have”once again prioritized (their) shareholders“, accuses the NGO in its annual report published Monday. Dividends, up 32% compared to 2020, are added to another form of shareholder reward: share buybacks aimed at supporting stock market prices, totaling 23 billion euros in 2021.

The French State, the third beneficiary

After the Arnault group and Blackrock, the French state is, with 1.32 billion euros, the third beneficiary of dividend payments in respect of 2021 profits – ahead of the Bettencourt families (890 million) and Pinault (620 million) , details the association. “About one tenth of all dividendsof the CAC 40 goes to 16 families historically linked to some of the largest French groups such as LVMH, Hermès, L’Oréal or Kering, according to the NGO.

Otherwise, “the tax contribution of CAC 40 groups seems to be growing much less rapidly than their profits and dividends“, notes the Observatory of multinationals. Some 14% “of all CAC 40 subsidiaries are located in tax havensnotes the report, acknowledging, however, that “the degree of presence of large French groups in these jurisdictions (…) is not enough to +prove+ by itself that there is illicit tax evasion“.

The average remuneration of a CAC boss increased by 52% in 2021 to reach 6.6 million euros, after, there too, a year of weaker health crisis. “The increase between 2019 and 2021 is 26.4%“, adds the NGO, and”managers of companies in which the State is a shareholder appear at the bottom of the ranking“. The Dassault group is in the lead, with 44 million euros in remuneration for its general manager.

On average, a CAC 40 company spent 65,300 euros per employee in 2021 (which notably includes employer contributions). Related to executive compensation, “an average employee of the CAC 40 must work 139 days to earn what his boss earns in a single day», calculates the NGO.

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