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Shield yourself from UK political turmoil with these growth shares

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Market appetite for Randgold Resources (LSE: RRS) has dipped in recent sessions as values of safe-haven bullion have retreated.

Gold slipped to three-week lows on Friday just above the $1,250 per ounce marker, the commodity sinking as bubbly US economic data pushed the dollar higher. The Federal Reserve hiked interest rates this week, and signs of a strengthening American economy are boosting expectations of more increases soon.

Having said that, I believe classic safety plays still have an important role to play. The political malaise in the UK provides plenty of ammunition for gold values to flip higher again, from the likelihood of Britons being dragged back to the polls in the months ahead through to the uncertainties thrown up by  Brexit negotitations.

And there is plenty of turmoil overseas that could also push sales of the metal higher in the near future, from fresh concerns over the the Greek debt issue through to the developing crisis surrounding President Trump’s administration in Washington.

Output booms

City consensus also suggests that gold values should remains stable for some time yet, predictions which are expected to fuel further earnings growth at Randgold. The African digger is predicted to print a 16% earnings rise in 2017, and to follow this up with a 24% surge next year.

Current forecasts leave Randgold dealing on a forward P/E ratio of 29.4 times, sailing over the long-established value benchmark of 15 times.

Still, I consider the gold giant to be one of those stocks whose exceptional growth prospects merit such a premium, particularly as Randgold’s production balloons and costs steadily edge lower. The business dug 322,470 ounces of gold out of the ground during January-March, up 10% year-on-year.

And as an added bonus, the number crunchers also expect Randgold’s excellent earnings outlook to light a fire under dividends.

The company hiked the dividend to 100 US cents per share last year from 66 cents in 2015, and further chunky increases — to 185 cents in 2017 and 255 cents in 2018 — are anticipated. So Randgold’s yield continues to rapidly improve, from 2% this year to 2.8% in the following period.

International star

Support services play Bunzl (LSE: BNZL) has also proved itself a brilliant growth dividend share for many, many years now.

The company’s ability to grind out earnings growth whatever the weather has seen it raise the shareholder payout consistently for almost a quarter of a century. And the City expects dividends to keep growing at dividends for some time yet — last year’s 42p per share reward is predicted to hop to 45p in 2017, yielding 1.9%, and to 47.5p in 2018, yielding 2%.

Those concerned by signs of the British economy may be hitting the buffers should take confidence from Bunzl’s broad international scope spanning the Americas, Europe and Australasia. The company sources 15% of revenues from the UK and its diversified span of operations (the firm offers essential services across the food services, grocery, cleaning and services and safety sectors) provides the bottom line with an added layer of protection.

Furthermore, Bunzl has intensified its work on the M&A front to keep profits on an upward path, and has made five acquisitions in the year to date for a total of £260m. And this activity is expected to support earnings rises of 4% in 2017 and 5% next year.

I believe excellent defensive qualities make it worthy of a slightly-elevated forward P/E multiple of 21.4 times.

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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. 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.