Concerns over the sustainability of pay-outs from big U.K. supermarkets are mounting following Tesco's announced cut, with peers in the space also expected to reduce pay-outs to shareholders.
Tesco, and other members of the so-called "big four" supermarkets Sainsbury's and Morrisons have struggled to maintain market share as discount retailers have risen in popularity with shoppers, and now questions over future dividends are being asked.
Financial data firm Markit said it expected to see cuts in both Morrisons and Sainsbury's dividend policies, as profits in the group remain under pressure.
"Tesco in particular has been experiencing an annus horribilis. A sequence of profit warnings and recently the disclosure of accounting discrepancies mean things seem to be going from bad to worse for the company," Markit said in its U.K. dividend outlook.
The chain announced its intention to cut its half-year payout by 75 percent in advance of the interim results. Markit said it expected the final dividend to be reduced by a similar amount, keeping the interim/final split "in line with the historical pattern."
Billionaire investor Warren Buffett told CNBC last week that his investment in the ailing retailer was a "huge mistake" after the group overstated its half-yearly earnings causing its share price to slide almost 12 percent. Buffett is thought to have lost in the region of $700 million on his shares in the grocer.
Rival WM Morrisons kept to its guidance and increased its dividend by 5 percent at the interim stage, despite lower profits. Markit now expects the retailer to match this increase for the final dividend but beyond that the "current level appears unsustainable" and the group expects to see the supermarket's pay-outs to shareholders lowered in 2015.
Sainsbury's is also expected to abandon its policy of setting its interim dividend at 30 percent of the previous full year pay-out, with Markit predicting a 20 percent cut compared to the previous year.
Sainsbury's cut its 2014 sales forecast last week, with like-for-like sales in the second half of the year now expected to be similar to the first half. Speaking to CNBC, chief financial officer Mike Rogers said its dividend policy was "constantly under review".
"We are in the midst of a strategic review of the business—one out of which will be the dividend policy. We don't know yet. We will update the market come November," Rogers said last week.
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Meanwhile, dividends in homebuilders are "skyrocketing" as house prices in the U.K. have soared in the last 12 months and trading conditions have dramatically improved for the construction industry.
"We expect Bovis and Redrow to at least double their distributions. Our team is projecting hikes of between 67 percent and 86 percent for Bellway and Crest Nicholson," Markit said.
Financial services groups are also expected to post strong growth, while banks are expected to deliver 7 percent growth on average this financial year.