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Dividend Champion MITIE Group PLC Makes ‘Positive’ Start To Year

The shares of MITIE (LSE: MTO) slipped 1p to 275p during early trade this morning after the outsourcing firm claimed it had made a “positive” start to its current financial year.

The FTSE 250 mid-cap also said 89% of its budgeted revenues for the twelve months to March 2014 had already been secured.

MITIE revealed in today’s statement that its sales pipeline within the private sector remained “buoyant“. The group cited new cleaning contracts with Mitchells & Butlers and Cineworld, a security contract with BAE Systems and a facilities management contract with Kellogg’s had underpinned the performance.

In addition, MITIE mentioned it had enjoyed a “steady flow of contract awards and retentions” within its public-sector division, including a healthcare deal in Leicestershire and a lighting contract for the Greater London Authority.

Looking ahead, the company said it was “positive about the range of outsourcing opportunities across our key markets and confident that we will continue to build on our long track record of sustainable profitable growth“.

Prior to today, City experts were predicting MITIE’s 2014 earnings would remain close to 24p per share and the dividend would advance 7% to 11p per share.

Those projections presently place the share price on a potential P/E of 11 and possible yield of 4%.

MITIE’s dividend achievements make the share a champion for income seekers. The firm’s payout was upped every year during the banking crash and, since 1999, has advanced at an average compound rate of 20% a year.

Of course, whether that dividend record, today’s statement and the wider outlook for the outsourcing sector now all combine to make MITIE a ‘buy’ is something only you can decide.

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> Maynard does not own any share mentioned in this article.