Difference Between Interim Dividend and Final Dividend

Edited by Diffzy | Updated on: September 14, 2022


Difference Between Interim Dividend and Final Dividend Difference Between Interim Dividend and Final Dividend

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Dividend refers to the percentage of a company's earnings that is delivered to its shareholders as a return on their investments and is dependent on the number of shares they own rather than being retained by the firm. A final dividend is the dividend that the firm declares at the conclusion of the fiscal year, as proposed by the board of directors, at the general meeting of the company.

In regards to the interim dividend, which is announced by the company's board of directors when it has excess earnings between general meetings and declares the dividend. We will discuss the distinctions between interim dividend and final payout in this essay sample.

A dividend is the distribution of a part of a company's earnings to a class of shareholders at the board of directors' discretion. Dividends are portions of a company's post-tax earnings that are given to its shareholders in proportion to the quantity and kind of shares they own. The board of directors determines the dividend's size, timing, and whether it will be paid from current earnings or historical earnings held in reserve.

A definition of "dividend" may be found in Section 2(35) of the 2013 Companies Act. Any interim dividend is included in the term "Dividend". It is an inclusive definition rather than an exhaustive one. The profit of a corporation that is not kept in the firm is dispersed to shareholders in proportion to the amount paid-up on the shares they own, according to the commonly recognised definition of "dividend."

Why do businesses provide dividends?

Businesses distribute dividends from their earnings to their shareholders as a way of saying thank you for the capital they received to run the firm. The board of directors is in charge of determining how much of the earnings may be retained by the firm and how much will be used to pay dividends. A company does not have to pay dividends, though. Dividends may be paid in a variety of ways, including cash, stocks, or other forms. A corporation's board of directors decides on its dividend, and shareholders must agree to it.

Interim Dividend vs Final Dividend

A final dividend is typically contrasted with an interim dividend, which is a payment given prior to annual general meetings and end-of-fiscal-year statements. This announced dividend, which often comes with the company's interim financial results, is typically less than the final payout.

In the United Kingdom and the United States, interim dividends are paid in the middle of the fiscal year. However, they can also be announced and distributed when there is a particularly strong earnings season or when a deadline or a law favours doing so.

Difference Between Interim Dividend and Final Dividend in Tabular Form

Table: Interim Dividend vs Final Dividend
Parameter of comparison
Interim Dividend
Final Dividend
An interim dividend is one that is issued and paid in the middle of the fiscal year, that is, before to the year's conclusion.
 The term "final dividend" refers to the payout that the board of directors announced at the company's annual general meeting following the conclusion of the fiscal year.
Announced by the board of directors.
 Firm Recommendations made at a board meeting and made public by company members at the annual general meeting
Time of Declaration
Before financial statement preparation.
 when the financial statements have been prepared.
With the approval of all shareholders.
It may be withdrawn. It can't be taken away.
Rate of Dividend
Comparatively higher
Articles of association
Only when the provisions expressly require the declaration is it made.
 There is no requirement in the articles, per se.

What is Interim Dividend?

Interim Dividend is the dividend that the company's directors declare before determining the company's annual profit or loss and its annual general meeting (AGM), or at any point in between the company's two consecutive AGMs. The board of directors makes the announcement, but shareholders must approve it.

The profits of the accounting year in which the dividend is requested to be declared or retained earnings in the profit and loss accounts are used to pay interim dividends.

The rate of the interim dividend shall not be higher than the average payout paid by the firm over the previous three years when the company experiences a loss according to its financial records for the quarter immediately prior. When a dividend is announced, the amount requested by the corporation must be placed in a separate bank account within five days of the declaration date.

A corporation that pays out dividends to its shareholders on a semi-annual basis would normally pay out two payouts, one of which is known as an interim dividend.

The interim dividend is often distributed before the annual general meeting of a company and the publication of its final financial accounts.

Final dividends are distributed following the publication of a company's most recent financial results.

Because of this, interim dividends are paid from retained earnings, whereas final dividends are paid from current earnings.

The Board of Directors of the Company shall have the authority to declare an interim dividend, which shall be subject to approval by the shareholders.

Understanding  an Interim Dividend

Individuals make stock or bond investments in businesses. Bonds offer a fixed interest rate and give investors priority over shareholders in the event of bankruptcy, but investors do not gain from rising share prices. While some stocks do pay dividends, stocks do not pay interest. Shareholders who receive dividend payments can gain from increasing earnings through final and interim dividends as well as rising stock prices. An interim dividend is declared by the directors, but it requires shareholder approval. A regular dividend, also known as a final dividend, is, on the other hand, voted on and authorised at the annual general meeting after profits have been determined. Interim dividends and final dividends may be distributed as either cash or shares.

Interim Dividend Example

Plato Income Maximiser Ltd (ASX: PL8) issued an interim dividend on February 13, 2019. A dividend of 0.005 per share would be paid to shareholders on Thursday, February 28th who had shares of record as of that day. The director of the company says that the company is aware of the need for retirees to augment government pensions. The company's "investment strategy promotes regular and sustained dividend distributions" because of this necessity.

What is Final Dividend?

The term "final dividend" refers to a payout that the firm declares following the presentation of the fiscal year's financial statement at the annual general meeting (AGM) and the determination of the company's financial status and profitability situation. The final dividend is an obligation that may be enforced against the firm once it is issued.

Declaring the dividend is seen as routine activity that is done during the annual general meeting of the corporation. The firm is obligated to transfer a portion of the profit to the reserve before declaring a dividend. Therefore, the amount to be shifted to reserves is entirely up to the corporation.

According to the laws provided by the government, a dividend may be issued if there is no profit, no profit for the fiscal year, or any undistributed profits that should be declared as a dividend. However, the dividend may only be declared from free reserves.

A final dividend is determined and distributed at a company's annual general meeting (AGM) for a specific fiscal year based on the information provided by the year-end financial statements.

The final dividend often pays out more money than the interim dividend(s) a corporation may provide at different points throughout the year.

A liquidation dividend, which is the final payment made to shareholders when a business is shutting, drastically decreasing, or being bought, should not be confused with a final dividend.

Understanding Final Dividend

A final dividend is a fixed payment that may be made quarterly (which is the norm), semiannually, or annually. It is the portion of earnings distributed to shareholders after the corporation pays for working capital and capital expenditures. The board of directors has the option to decide on the dividend policy.

The approach for interim dividends can be the same as for final payouts, but because interim dividends are given out before the end of the fiscal year, their corresponding financial accounts have not yet undergone an audit.

Shareholders might get money from dividend payments and gain from increasing profitability. A final dividend is voted on and accepted at the AGM after earnings are known, whereas an interim dividend is issued by directors and is subject to shareholder approval. Both interim and final dividends may be paid out as cash or shares.

Example of a Final Dividend

You would get $750 in dividend income year if you owned 500 shares of business XYZABC, which distributes $1.50 in dividends each year. Investors will get $1,500 yearly if firm XYZABC increases its dividend to $3 per share. Final dividend payments are normally made annually along with earnings and are disclosed.

Differences Between Interim Dividend and Final  Dividend in Points

Here is a full explanation of the differences between interim dividend and final dividend:

  • An interim dividend is a payout that is declared and paid in the midst of an accounting year, that is, prior to the year's finalisation of accounts. On the other extreme, a final dividend is one that the board of directors declares at the annual general meeting of the firm following the conclusion of the fiscal year.
  • In any fiscal year, between the close of the fiscal year and the holding of the AGM, the Board of Directors may announce a dividend. In contrast, the board of directors recommends the final dividend, which is then disclosed by the members at the AGM and accepted following the determination of profit.
  • The corporation declares interim dividends prior to the completion of its financial statements. The announcement of the final dividend, however, comes after the company's financial accounts have been prepared.
  • With the approval of all shareholders, the interim dividend may be cancelled. However, once the final dividend has been announced, it cannot be changed.
  • The interim dividend rate is always lower than the ultimate dividend rate.
  • Only when the company's articles of organisation specifically state the same may the interim dividend be declared. In the event of the final payout, however, there is no such obligation.
  • The current year's profit is often used to fund the dividend because it is paid after the financial statements have been prepared. However, the interim dividend is given before the financial year's real profit can be calculated. Therefore, it isn't deducted from the year's earnings. Instead, it is paid for out of the company's free reserves.
  • If they are paid when? Final Dividends are typically paid each year when the business has made a profit. In order to preserve a positive reputation, it attempts to persuade investors not to sell their shares. However, a firm only pays an interim dividend if the Financial Year results in exceptional earnings for the company.
  • Dividend amount: Since the interim dividend is announced before the full financial results are known, it is often lower. As a result, the board takes a defensive stance. The ultimate dividend, however, is higher since the true picture of earnings is now known. As a result, the Board chooses whether to issue a dividend depending on the company's dividend policy.
  • Revocation: Are you aware that the interim dividend may be revoked by the board of directors prior to payment? However, it is often avoided since it harms the company's reputation. However, if the shareholders approve the final dividend, it becomes a debt for the business. and can't be stopped.


Dividends are the appropriation of earnings that gives shareholders a return on their investment. While the final dividend belongs to the entire year, or the fiscal year, the interim dividend is only linked with a portion of the year, often six months. Final dividends are announced and paid annually after the financial year's results are known, whereas interim dividends are paid from excess profits (undistributed) from prior years.

An interim dividend is one that is issued and paid in the middle of the fiscal year, that is, before to the year's conclusion. The term "final dividend" refers to the payout that the board of directors announced at the company's annual general meeting following the conclusion of the fiscal year.


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"Difference Between Interim Dividend and Final Dividend." Diffzy.com, 2023. Mon. 20 Mar. 2023. <https://www.diffzy.com/article/difference-between-interim-dividend-and-final-dividend-648>.

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