James Fisher and Sons paying £4m dividend

James Fisher and Sons is paying a £4m dividend despite asking the taxpayer to shell out almost £2m to furloughed staff. 

The FTSE 250 company, which provides products and services to the marine, oil and gas industry worldwide, will pay investors 8p a share for the first half of the year.

Raising eyebrows: James Fisher and Sons provides products and services to the marine, oil and gas industry worldwide

Raising eyebrows: James Fisher and Sons provides products and services to the marine, oil and gas industry worldwide

Raising eyebrows: James Fisher and Sons provides products and services to the marine, oil and gas industry worldwide

It came despite a 59 per cent slump in profits to £7.1m in the six months to the end of June in what chief executive Eoghan O’Lionaird described as ‘one of the most demanding periods the company has faced’. 

The payout also raised eyebrows given James Fisher furloughed 400 of its 3,000 staff, costing the public purse £1.9m. 

Critic John O’Connell, at the Taxpayers’ Alliance, said: ‘Employers who are in a position to repay furlough money should do so.’ 

James Fisher said the 400 furloughed staff returned to work in July. It cancelled its final dividend for 2019, costing shareholders £12m. 

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