While there are a number of risks facing the world economy, now could be a good time to invest in FTSE 100 shares. There are a number of companies that seem to offer strong growth outlooks in a variety of different industries.
Although their prices may not be as attractive as they were at the start of the year as a result of the index’s recent rise, they could still offer the opportunity to generate impressive returns. In fact, over the long run they could help an investor to build a seven-figure ISA portfolio.
One FTSE 100 growth stock that seems to have a bright long-term future is Unilever (LSE: ULVR). The company has a long track record of impressive growth, with its decision to invest heavily in emerging markets now seeming to be paying off.
Since wages in emerging economies such as India and China are forecast to rise, the stock may enjoy favourable operating conditions for many years. Due to its diverse geographical spread, it is also not reliant on a specific market for its growth. Likewise, a diverse spread of products means that its risks versus other consumer goods companies may be relatively low.
In the current year, Unilever is forecast to deliver a rise in net profit of over 9%. Although it trades on a price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of 20, its rating has been higher in previous years. Therefore, should investor sentiment across the FTSE 100 continue to improve, the stock could realistically make gains from an upward re-rating, as well as from the impact of a rising bottom line.
Following the sale of its Costa division, Whitbread (LSE: WTB) is now focused on expanding its Premier Inn hotel chain. There seems to be significant potential to do so in the UK and in a variety of international markets, with greater focus on its hotels business potentially providing greater efficiency for the firm.
Although the UK economic outlook may be challenging at the present time, Whitbread generally performed well in the financial crisis. A number of consumers and business customers traded down to budget hotels, which could mean that it benefits on a relative basis from the uncertain outlook for UK consumer spending.
Since Whitbread trades on a P/E ratio of 17, it is not a cheap share to buy right now. However, with it expected to deliver improving financial performance over the long run and it having a solid track record of growth, it could be worthy of a premium versus its FTSE 100 index peers. In fact, it has recorded positive earnings growth in each of the last five years, which suggests that its risk/reward ratio could be appealing over the long run.
Alongside Unilever, Whitbread could deliver an impressive level of capital growth. I think both stocks could even help an investor become an ISA millionaire over the long run.
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Peter Stephens owns shares of Unilever and Whitbread. The Motley Fool UK owns shares of and has recommended Unilever. 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.