The potential for European companies to raise dividend payouts is high since currently the payout ratio is lower than in the past according to a Allianz Global Investors report.
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From the report:
As earnings blossomed following the 2008 / 2009 financial crisis, the distribution ratios of companies have declined considerably. In Europe, the ratio of paid dividends to earnings per share is currently around 55 %, which is moderate by historical comparison. In the US, it is close to its lowest levels ever, at about 35% (see Chart 6).There is thus scope for dividend hikes.
Source: Dividend strategies in times of financial repression, Allianz Global Investors