Duke again turns down dividend

The billionaire Duke of Westminster – who owns swaths of London's Mayfair and Belgravia through his Grosvenor Estates property empire – turned down a dividend for a second successive year in 2012, the company's latest accounts showed.

Gerald Grosvenor, the 6th Duke of Westminster, has an estimated £7.4bn pile, making him the UK's seventh richest man. He last paid himself a dividend in 2010, when he took an £11.6m payout.

Grosvenor's London portfolio surged in value thanks to rising demand for West End property and luxury flats as well as improvements to the estate. But losses elsewhere – mainly in Southern Europe – left the overall value of the portfolio flat at £5.8bn as total returns eased to 7.2 per cent from 9 per cent the previous year.