2 FTSE 100 stocks I’d never sell

While consumer tastes are usually in a state of flux, I am convinced household goods giant Unilever (LSE: ULVR) has what it takes to keep revenues flying skywards.

Such is the breadth of Unilever’s operations that it does not face the danger of collapsing revenues should one of its markets enter a state of serious decline. The company has its fingers in many pies, boasting goods from Lynx deodorant and Hellmann’s mayonnaise through to Persil washing detergent.

For example, while demand for its Flora spreads has taken a hit in recent years amid a broader slump in global margarine demand, this has not stopped earnings heading steadily higher at the London manufacturer.

Allied to the strength afforded by its wide product portfolio, the huge sums Unilever has ploughed into the marketing and development of its brands now makes them irresistible picks for shoppers all over the globe. The column inches dedicated to Tesco’s refusal to stock Unilever’s much-loved labels late last year after a pricing dispute is evidence of this.

This all-round strength convinces me that Unilever can hurdle any obstacles thrown in its way and keep generating impressive earnings growth long into the future.

And City analysts expect the brand beauty to keep its great growth story rolling during the medium term at least. Earnings rises of 11% and 9% are anticipated for 2017 and 2018 respectively.

A subsequent P/E ratio of 23 times for 2017 may stand above the FTSE 100 forward average of 15 times. However, I reckon Unilever’s position as one of the most reliable growth shares out there fully warrants such a premium.

Great support

Earnings growth is rarely explosive at support services provider Bunzl (LSE: BNZL). And the number crunchers do not expect this characteristic to end any time soon — indeed, bottom-line increases of 4% in 2017 and 5% in 2018 are currently predicted.

But this matters not one jot in my opinion as the company’s bias towards the ‘solid if unspectacular’ has seen its share price jump more than 130% during the past few years.

Like Unilever, regardless of difficult trading conditions in one or two key regions, Bunzl’s hefty geographical base enables it to keep generating earnings growth year after year, irrespective of problems in one or two regions.

This has enabled trading to remain robust while the likes of Capita and Mitie have been forced to issue profit warning after profit warning in the wake of the UK’s Brexit vote last June.

And Bunzl remains on the acquisition trail to broaden its global footprint and keep earnings clicking higher. Over the past month alone, the business has acquired US-based Diversified Distribution Systems, a major player across North America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia, as well as Singapore’s personal protection equipment provider LSH.

I believe Bunzl’s 21.1 times still represents great value given its exceptional growth prospects.

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