British Assets maintains dividend despite hit from BP

The British Assets Trust will draw down cash to maintain its dividend for 2010 and compensate for BP slashing its payout, the board says.

The £473.5m trust earned 5p a share compared with 5.8p in 2010, partly because of BP suspending its dividend in the wake of the Gulf of Mexico spill.

It also received a one-off boost last year from the VAT rebate on investment trust management fees. (article continues below)

The trust says it will therefore use revenue reserves to maintain the 2010 dividend at 6.112p a share.

The trust will pay the final installment of the dividend on January 7.