It’s mighty tempting for dividend investors to storm right into the FTSE 100 without a second thought.
Aside from the prestige that comes with holding stock in some of Britain’s most distinguished blue-chips, dividends from London’s elite index continue to hit record after record and are predicted to continue doing so for some time yet.
It’d be a mistake, though, to limit your shopping basket by not forensically foraging outside the Footsie for other great income stocks. With this in mind I’ve searched the FTSE 250 for some big dividend payers that could deliver some stunning returns in the years ahead.
In great health
I like Assura (LSE: AGR) a lot. For income chasers it offers that essential quality of reliable earnings growth year after year thanks to its role in the healthcare sector (it designs, builds and manages primary healthcare properties the length and breadth of the country).
It remains committed to growth and thanks to its robust balance sheet the business is able to embark on an aggressive expansion drive. In 2018, Assura splashed out a total £175m to secure 45 new medical centres and develop two further assets, taking the total number of healthcare facilities on its books to a whopping 553 with a total annualised rent roll of £99.8m (versus £87.4m a year earlier).
Encouraged by its expansion drive and the defensive nature of its operations, City brokers expect Assura’s profits to keep growing over the next few years at least, thus keeping the firm’s long-running record of dividend growth up and running. And this means that the healthcare star sports an inflation-smashing yield of 4.6% for this year alone.
Turn the page
If you’re hunting for bigger near-term yields, though, then PageGroup (LSE: PAGE) may well be right up your street.
City analysts are expecting earnings at the recruitment giant to keep rising by double-digit percentages in 2019, laying the groundwork for predictions of more weighty dividend growth and thus a gigantic 6.4% yield.
I’ve long talked up PageGroup’s investment appeal because of its exposure to fast-growing economies around the globe and I was pleased to see that January’s trading update revealed more of the same.
Sure, tough economic conditions in the UK are hampering performance in its home territory and gross profit fell 1.7% in 2018. However, stunning growth elsewhere — PageGroup produced record results in 23 countries in which it operates last year — helped to drive gross profits at group level 14.5% higher. And in its so-called high potential territories of the US, Germany, Latin America, Greater China and South East Asia, profits surged by a collective 25% year-on-year.
Clearly the jobs giant is on the up and up, and with it aiming to boost its global headcount to 10,000 from the all-time high of around 7,800 to capitalise on these fertile markets, there should be plenty more to come.