The FTSE 100 (FTSEINDICES: ^FTSE) managed a 21-point rise by just after midday to reach 6,676, though whether it will end its three-week losing streak or extend it to a fourth is still anybody’s guess — the index of top UK shares is up just 2 points on the week so far.
If such uncertainties don’t appeal to you, you always have the option of focusing on dividends instead. Here are three FTSE companies that have lifted their full-year payouts this week:
Compass Group (LSE: CPG) reported a good year on Wednesday, telling us of a 4.3% rise in revenue to £17.6bn, with underlying pre-tax profit up 9.2% to £1,188m and underlying earnings per share (EPS) up 12.5% to 47.7p. The catering group’s operating margin picked up 20 basis points too, taking it over 7% for the first time.
The dividend? Up 12.7% to 24p per share, providing a yield of 2.6% on today’s share price of 929p. Further cash is to be returned to shareholders via a £500m share buyback planned for 2014.
Sticking with the comestibles theme, soft drinks maker Britvic (LSE: BVIC) raised its full-year dividend by a more modest 4% to 18.4p on Tuesday, for a 2.7% yield on today’s share price of 679p. But that price is up around 65% over the past 12 months, so those who bought early will get a better yield.
Behind the payout hike we saw a 4.4% rise in revenue to £1,322m, with pre-tax profit soaring by 27% to £108.1m and adjusted EPS up a similar percentage to 35.2p.
Chief executive Simon Litherland also told us that “trading in the new financial year is slightly ahead of a strong first quarter performance last year“.
It was beverages of a different sort that did the trick for Marston’s (LSE: MARS) on Thursday, as the brewer and pub operator recorded a 9% growth in revenue to £782.9m with underlying operating profit coming in 7% ahead at £168.3m. Underlying pre-tax profit only made a 1% gain to £88.4m, but the firm did face higher interest costs during the period.
Underlying EPS remained unchanged at 12.3p per share, but the dividend still got a boost of 5% to 6.4p per share. On today’s share price of 146p, that’s a yield of 4.4% and the best of the three.
> Alan does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned.