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Unilever, Abertis May Increase Payout to Shareholders Next Week

Unilever NV, Abertis Infraestructuras SA and Whitbread Plc are among five companies in the Stoxx Europe 600 Index that may boost their dividends next week, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Unilever, the world’s second-largest consumer-products company, will raise its interim payout to shareholders by 8 percent to 24.3 euro cents per share, according to Bloomberg Dividend Forecasts that factor in earnings and options prices. Abertis, Spain’s biggest toll-road operator, may increase its dividend by 16 percent to 33 euro cents, while Whitbread, the owner of Premier Inn budget lodges, may boost its disbursement by 8.6 percent to 19 pence.

Companies in the Stoxx 600 may raise shareholder payouts by 3.8 percent in 2012, according to estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Per-share earnings are forecast to grow 51 percent in that period.

Debenhams Plc, the U.K.’s second-largest department-store chain, will probably boost its final dividend by 5 percent to 2.1 pence, and C&C Group Plc, the maker of Magners cider, will raise its payout by 16 percent to 4.3 euro cents.

The Stoxx 600 has advanced 2.2 percent so far this week, the second weekly increase in three, as Moody’s Investors Service kept its investment-grade debt rating on Spain, and on better-than-expected U.S. economic data. The gauge slipped 0.3 percent to 275.34 at 10:14 a.m. in London today.

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