An interim dividend is a dividend payment made by a company to its shareholders before its annual financial statements have been finalised. While final dividends are declared and paid after the company’s financial results for the full financial year are known, interim dividends are distributed during the company’s financial year based on interim financial statements or other criteria.

Here are some key points about interim dividends:

Timing: Interim dividends are typically paid out during the company’s financial year, usually after the first half-year or quarter, depending on the company’s financial reporting cycle. They provide shareholders with a portion of the company’s profits earlier than they would receive with final dividends.

Decision-Making: The decision to declare and pay interim dividends is usually made by the company’s board of directors based on various factors, including the company’s financial performance, cash flow position, capital requirements, and shareholder expectations. The board may consider interim financial statements, cash reserves, projected earnings, and other relevant information in making this decision.

Criteria: Interim dividends may be paid out if the company has generated sufficient profits or has retained earnings available for distribution. However, the exact criteria for declaring interim dividends may vary depending on the company’s policies, regulatory requirements, and other factors. Companies may also have specific rules or guidelines governing the payment of interim dividends in their articles of association or shareholder agreements.

Flexibility: Interim dividends give companies flexibility in their cash flows and return value to shareholders throughout the financial year. They allow companies to distribute profits to shareholders periodically rather than waiting until the end of the financial year.

Communication: Companies typically communicate the declaration of interim dividends to shareholders through official announcements or disclosures, informing them of the dividend amount, record date, payment date, and other relevant details. Shareholders may receive interim dividends in cash payments or additional shares, depending on the company’s dividend policy and shareholder preferences.