For income investors seeking relentless dividend expansion, Bunzl(LSE: BNZL) is the stuff of legend.
Annual payouts at the business have risen each and every term over the past quarter of a century. And who would bet against the FTSE 100 support services leviathan continuing this record? Not me.
Bunzl boasts formidable sector and geographical diversification that gives it supreme earnings visibility, also giving it the confidence to maintain an ultra-progressive payout policy. These qualities allowed it to deliver another quarter of revenues growth between January and March. Revenues rose 7% in the period, but if it were not for the impact of adverse currency movements, sales would have jumped 14%.
And as my Foolish colleague Paul Summers pointed out, Bunzl's appetite for revenues-boosting M&A shows no signs of slowing down, the company securing fresh assets in North America and Europe in the period. With acquisitions contributing 8% to revenues growth in Q1 at constant currencies, this strategy is undoubtedly a sage one.
The beat goes on
All of these factors add up to City analysts suggesting further earnings growth in the near-to-medium-term at least, current forecasts putting profits advances at 4% for both 2018 and 2019.
Thus the famous dividend rise is predicted to continue as well -- last year's 46p per share reward is expected to move to 48.9p in 2018, and again to 51.3p next year. Consequently, yields for this year and next sit at a decent 2.2% and 2.3% respectively.
With bloated concerns over margin pressure at Bunzl beginning to evaporate, I expect the company's recent share price ascent to keep rolling. Despite its slightly-elevated forward P/E ratio of 18.2 times, I believe the firm is a great stock to buy now and hold for many years.
The special one
Mondi (LSE: MNDI) is another elite index share that has a great reputation when it comes to lifting dividends.
Ordinary dividends at the packaging and paper play have swelled by almost 75% during the past five years, while the Footsie firm has been minded to throw out one-off payments as well, resulting in 2017's special dividend of 100 euro cents per share.
Like Bunzl, a long record of earnings growth has formed the foundation for sustained dividend growth, and with further progress on this front being tipped by the Square Mile, rises of 10% and 5% are estimated for 2018 and 2019 respectively, dividends are unsurprisingly tipped to keep increasing as well.
Last year's 62 cent reward is expected to rise to 71 cents in the current period, and again to 74 cents in 2019. This means yields stand at a chubby 3% and 3.1% for this year and next.
It advised this week that "we continue to experience a strong pricing environment in a number of our key product segments, supported by good demand growth," so thanks to the company's formidable cash generation and continued trading strength, I would not rule out further special dividends being doled out.
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Royston Wild has no position in any of the shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has no position in any of the shares mentioned. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.