2 Footsie growth dividend greats I’d buy before it’s too late

Supported by relentless bottom-line growth, leisure operator Whitbread (LSE: WTB) has emerged as one of the FTSE 100’s brightest growth dividend stocks in recent years.

The Costa Coffee and Premier Inn owner has seen dividends rise at an impressive compound annual growth rate of 12% during the past five fiscal years. And with earnings expected to keep rising — advances of 2% and 6% are chalked-in for the years to February 2017 and 2018 respectively — the City expects dividends to keep on chugging.

Indeed, last year’s reward of 90.35p per share is anticipated to rise to 95p in the current period, and again to 101.2p in 2018.

Sure, dividend yields of 2.4% and 2.5% for these years may trail the British big-cap average of 3.5% by no little distance. But I reckon surging sales expansion the world over should see yields overtake the FTSE 100 mean before too long.

Whitbread saw demand for its hotel beds and hot drinks stomp still higher during the most recent quarter, with like-for-like sales at Premier Inn and Costa rising 1.8% and 4.3% during the 13 weeks to December 1, even though its UK accommodation arm suffered some weakness in the period.

And the leisure leviathan’s plans to keep growing its hotel network across the UK and Germany, not to mention the number of coffee houses it operates globally, should keep shareholder returns rising.

Hit factory

Like Whitbread, ITV (LSE: ITV) has a great record of initiating jumbo dividend raises too. And despite the impact of slowing advertising revenues, I reckon, like City analysts, that the business has what it takes to keep payments on an upward slant.

Steady earnings growth is of course the key to delivering persistent payout hikes, and ITV’s double-digit earnings rises in recent years have really put a fire under the dividend. The Coronation Street creator has seen payouts surging at an annualised rate of 30.3% during the five years to 2015.

Bu while ITV is due to experience a little earnings volatility in the near term — a 1% decline is anticipated for 2017 — the company’s excellent cash flows, allied with its robust long-term outlook, should keep fuelling dividend growth. Indeed, a 4% earnings rebound is anticipated for 2018.

The dividend of 7.3p per share chalked-in for 2016 is anticipated to leap to 8p in the current year, and again to 9.5p in 2018. And these projections create bulky yields of 3.8% and 4.5% for this year and next.

While the fallout of Brexit may dent advertisers’ confidence during the near term, I believe the huge global success of homegrown shows like Poldark and Victoria­ and formats like The Voice should keep revenues from ITV Studios heading through the roof.

And the broadcaster’s insatiable appetite for acquisitions should create an increasingly-powerful player on the global stage, a terrific omen for both growth and income investors.

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