Today I am running the rule over four top-tier dividend picks.

A brilliant package

With online shopping activity continuing to explode, I believe the ground is laid for Royal Mail (LSE: RMG) to enjoy strong profits growth in the years ahead.

More than a fifth of all British spending is now conducted online, the British Retail Consortium noted this month, with Internet sales leaping 10.7% year-on-year in February. But this phenomenon is not just being witnessed in the UK, which is a great sign for Royal Mail’s GLS division in Europe.

With restructuring also bolstering the bottom line, Royal Mail is anticipated to raise an estimated dividend of 21.8p per share for the year to March 2016, to 22.9p in 2017 and 24.1p the following year. These latter figures create terrific yields of 4.8% and 5.1% respectively.

Build a fortune

I believe that Carillion (LSE: CLLN) is also a robust selection for dividend hunters thanks to the strength of the domestic construction sector.

Much has been made of British construction PMI hitting a ten-month low in February. But a figure of 55 still illustrates strong growth. Meanwhile, investors should be encouraged by Carillion’s ability to keep delivering massive contract wins with both public- and private-sector clients.

The City expects Carillion to shell out a dividend of 18.9p per share in 2016, yielding a market-bashing 6.5%. And the yield leaps to 6.7% next year thanks to predictions of a 19.5p dividend.

Business is booming

I believe that Legal & General (LSE: LGEN) is one of the hottest picks out there for both growth and income chasers, as demand for insurance products explodes across the globe.

Legal & General has proved extremely adept at responding to changing social and regulatory trends across the globe, and is proving increasingly successful in the hot growth regions of Asia. Meanwhile exploding cash flows are also a terrific omen for dividend investors.

For 2016 Legal & General is expected to pay a dividend of 14.3p per share, and this rises to a projected 15.5p for next year. Consequently the company carries exceptional yields of 6.2% and 6.7% for this year and next.

A telecoms treat

Concerns continue to hang over the near-term dividend outlook for telecoms giant Vodafone (LSE: VOD).

Improving trading conditions in the company’s core European marketplace — combined with surging demand from new customers across Africa, Asia and the Middle East — are helping to power group services revenues higher.

But the colossal cost of Vodafone’s Project Spring organic investment scheme, allied with its busy M&A strategy, is casting concern over whether the firm can keep its progressive dividend policy rolling.

Indeed, the City expects Vodafone to lift a payout of 11.22p per share in the year to March 2015 to 11.5p in the current period, and keep it at this level until 2017.

Still, this figure still yields an enormous 5.2%. And the fruits of Vodafone’s huge investment drive is expected to get dividends chugging again from 2018 as earnings surge — an 11.7p reward is chalked in for the year after next, nudging the yield to an even-better 5.3%.

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Royston Wild has no position in any shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has no position in any of the shares mentioned. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.