Those seeking unstoppable dividend expansion year after year can't afford to look past Bunzl(LSE: BNZL), in my opinion.
The support services provider -- which deals in everything from medical supplies and food packaging to safety helmets -- has grown its dividend every year for more than two decades, thanks to its terrific earnings visibility.
Its wide breadth of services gives it a solid base to build upon, protecting it from weakness in one or two sectors in times of economic, or more specific industry, turbulence.
Excellent defensive qualities
These qualities are expected to keep Bunzl's bottom line expanding in the medium term at least, and so keep dividends chugging comfortably higher. For 2017 a predicted 4% earnings rise is anticipated to push the dividend to 45.2p per share. And an extra 5% advance next year should push the reward to 47.6p, analysts say.
Dividend yields of 1.9% and 2% for 2017 and 2018 may not be immediately scintillating. But I believe investors should be prepared to accept a discount (the FTSE 100 forward yield stands at around 3.5%) given the Bunzl's excellent defensive qualities -- indeed, Britain's blue chip index is littered with firms with higher yields but which carry much higher risk.
And the huge dollops of cash generated by Bunzl's operations should give investors further encouragement -- free cash flow grew 15% last year to £355.5m.
Not only does this have an obvious impact upon Bunzl's ability to keep dividends rising, but the service star's ability to keep generating cash should also keep its M&A drive rolling across the globe, and thus help earnings and payouts to continue rising in the long-term.
The London company's first-quarter financials are scheduled for Wednesday, April 19. I reckon another bubbly release could light a fire under Bunzl's stock value.
I also reckon Britvic (LSE: BVIC) is a white-hot growth buy for savvy dividend seekers.
Despite predictions of a rare 3% earnings dip in the year to September 2017, the J2O and Robinsons maker is expected to raise the dividend to 25p per share, yielding a delicious 3.9%. And the yield moves to 4.1% for fiscal 2018 thanks to an estimated 26.5p reward, supported by a 5% earnings snapback.
The impact of the sugar levy in the UK remains a major concern across the beverages segment, and Britvic is one of the most exposed in this regard -- around a third of total volumes fall outside the 'low' or 'no' sugar segments. But the brand power of labels like Pepsi and 7Up should enable the business to effectively pass these costs on to drinkers.
Besides, I believe investors can expect Britvic's rising success abroad to keep driving profits, and consequently dividends, skywards. Sales at the company's International division shot 19.8% higher during October-December thanks to the success of Fruit Shoot in the US. And I expect revenues to keep climbing as Britvic ratchets up investment across its markets.
Royston Wild has no position in any shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK owns shares of and has recommended Britvic. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.