By Jonathan Davies
The amount of dividends paid to shareholders around the world grew by 11% in 2014 to reach a record high of $1.167 trillion.
Figures from the investment firm, Henderson Global Investors, show that companies in the US saw the fastest growth of dividend payments.
Despite the strong growth in 2014, the investment company is expecting growth of just 1% in 2015 as a result of lower oil prices and slowing economies.
"2014 was a superb year for income investors, with developed markets leading the charge," said Alex Crooke at Henderson Global Investors.
"After such a strong performance in 2014, we now expect a pause for breath in 2015.
"We don't expect developed market oil companies to reduce their dividends in 2015, but there is a strong likelihood that emerging market producers will pay out markedly less this year as their profitability comes under pressure."
Regional dividend growth in 2014
North America - up 15% to $392bn
Europe excluding UK - up 12% to $229bn
Emerging markets - down 12% to $114bn
UK - up 31% to $135bn
Asia Pacific - up 3% to $116bn
Japan - up 6% to $49bn
Companies outside the top 1,200 - up 11% to $132bn
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