Time’s almost up! If you’re looking to max out your ISA allowance of £20,000 for the outgoing tax year, you’ve less than 12 hours to fill it up.
Let me suggest a couple of FTSE 100 income heroes that you might want to buy with those funds.
Halma (LSE: HLMA) doesn’t offer the biggest yields out there, but if you’re looking for strong and sustained dividend growth long into the future, it’s a terrific blue-chip to load up on today.
The business, which provides safety, health and environmental technologies, has lifted the annual dividend by 5% (or more) for almost 40 years on the spin. And why am I tipping it to continue doing so? Well, the broad range of industries which it services and its sprawling geographic footprint, of course, this diversification giving it the strength to grow profits year after year.
These qualities were displayed in all their glory in Halma’s most recent trading statement. In it the Footsie firm declared that it had enjoyed “widespread revenue growth geographically” in the period from the start of October to March 21, and that while it had enjoyed “moderate growth” in Asia Pacific and Continental Europe it had witnessed its strongest growth in the US and Britain.
This pan-global progress meant that Halma was able to announce that order intake was ahead of the same period in the prior fiscal year.
Halma’s wide range of operations and extensive territorial base is down in no small part to its robust appetite for acquisition activity. It sealed the deal on five takeovers in the 12 months to March 2018 and went one better in the year just passed, taking total spend for the period to £65m.
The Buckinghamshire business has taken significant steps to boost its M&A teams in recent times and as a result declared last month that “the acquisition pipeline remains healthy in all four [business] sectors.” And Halma certainly has the financial strength to keep racking up the purchases too.
Cash conversion continues to run ahead of target, registering at 86% for the first fiscal half, up from 84% a year earlier and surpassing desired levels by 100 basis points. And as a consequence, its net debt-to-EBITDA ratio sits at just 0.7 times, giving it plenty of space to pursue more earnings-boosting acquisitions.
Great dividend growth
Of course Halma’s brilliant balance sheet bodes well for future dividend distributions. City analysts are predicting a 15.9p per share full-year reward for the 12 months ended March 2019, up from 14.68p in the previous period and also supported by a predicted 12% annual earnings rise.
And investors today can look forward to an even bigger dividend jump in the current fiscal year — a 17.2p per share payout is estimated, helped by a touted 10% profits rise and a figure that yields 1%. As I said, dividends at Halma aren’t the biggest, but not all blue-chips are in such great a shape to keep lifting them at quite an impressive rate and long into the future too. This is why I rate the company as a brilliant buy.
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Royston Wild has no position in any of the shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has recommended Halma. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.