COVID-19 may have forced many listed companies globally to keep hold of their cash rather than return it to shareholders in the form of dividends, but there are a bunch of small caps bucking that trend.

Household chemical and cleaning product seller Pental (ASX:PTL) is the latest to tell shareholders they can expect a return this year.

The company said it would be paying a special dividend of 0.7c per share, or just shy of $1m all up, due to increased sales.

CEO Charlie McLeish admitted to Stockhead that being in the germ killing category was a case of being in the right place at the right time.

But the company has also been able to keep up with demand, something that not all companies have been able to guarantee.

“During COVID demand increased and as demand increased, us being a local manufacturer we were able to keep up supply, whereas some of our international competitors, they focus on other markets,” McLeish said.

“As they focused on other markets we were able to keep producing, keep up supply and we had a really, really good March and June quarter. That enables us to pay a special dividend based on those six months.”


Who else is paying up?

With full financial year results not due until the end of next month only a handful so far have signalled they plan to pay dividends.

Building materials stock Schaffer (ASX:SFC) announced earlier this month it expected to pay a final dividend of 35c.

Accounting firm Prime Financial (ASX:PFG), meanwhile, plans to increase its dividend from what it was previously expecting to return to shareholders, providing there is no further deterioration in business conditions.

South Australian industrial stock Korvest (ASX:KOV) has also said it will pay up too.

Queensland home builder Tamawood (ASX:TWD) told its shareholders it intended to pay dividends although it would be in the first half of the current financial year.

Other stocks that pay on a more frequent basis have already paid a dividend during COVID-19.

Swick Mining Services (ASX:SWK) paid a dividend back in April and also undertook a share buyback.

While that dividend was based on the July-December 2019 period, Swick assured shareholders it was withstanding the COVID-19 storm.

Accounting firm Kelly Partners Group (ASX:KPG) also paid a quarterly dividend earlier this month.