I’ve updated my UK Dividend Champions list for November. One stock was promoted from a Challenger to a Contender and two current Contenders had their history length increased. Sadly one former Contender was retired from the list – read on to find out who and why!
New Contender – RB plc (RB.L)
RB was formed in 1999 from the merger of Reckitt & Colman plc and the Netherlands-based Benckiser NV. This resulted in one of the most unfortunate corporation names I’ve come across in a while – “Reckitt Benckiser”. However management have subsequently wisely decided to re-brand the company as “RB plc” instead. I imagine Ben is very grateful! Reckitt and Colman sold some of the business including the Colman’s mustard brand to Unilever in 1995 .
While I’ve never heard of the parent company, it owns some great brands: Dettol, Strepsils, Veet, Air Wick, Calgon, Clearasil, Cillit Bang (Easy-Off), Durex, Lysol, and Vanish. It has operations in around 60 countries and its products are sold in almost 200 countries.
As a result of dividend history data being corrected in Yahoo Finance, RB has been promoted from a 5 year Challenger to a 12 year Contender.
Improved Contender – Young & Co Brewery (YNGA.L)
Starting from a Brewery in 1831, Young & Co operates public houses in the UK. They previously had an associated brewery, Wells and Youngs Brewery but exited that position in 2011, ending their 180 years in the brewing business. YNGA is listed on the smaller AIM index with a £291M market cap.
I’ll be in the UK this month visiting my parents but sadly there isn’t a Young’s pub that close otherwise I’d try them out.
I’d originally listed the company with a 22 year history last month, but after further research I’ve tracked down another 2 years of dividend payments, giving it a 24 year growth history and top place in my list. On a Financial Year basis, YNGA still achieves 19 year’s of growth.
Improved Contender – WPP Group (WPP.L)
WPP is an advertising and public relations company, and based on revenue, it’s the world’s largest employing over 160,000 around the world. Its original name was Wire and Plastics Products and they made wire shopping baskets however in 1987 the company transformed into an advertising company via a number of acquisitions and named itself WPP Group.
The company is listed as an ADR on the US NASDAQ exchanged under the symbol WPPGY and it’s a near-challenger in the US Dividend Champion list.
WPP were previously listed as having a 21 year dividend growth history based on Calendar Year dividend declarations (only 4 years based on Financial Year reports). However their recent dividend payment that went ex-dividend on 8-October has added an additional year so they’re now at a 22 year growth history.
Retired Contender – BHP Billiton plc (BLT.L)
BLT is a diverse natural resources company and are one of the world’s largest producers of major commodities, including aluminium, coal, copper, iron ore, manganese, nickel, silver and uranium. They also have substantial interests in oil and gas. The corporation of today resulted from a merger between BHP and Billiton in 2001. However the roots of the original companies go much further back. Billiton was formed in 1851 from a tin mine on an Indonesian Island called Billiton, and Broken Hill Proprietary (BHP) stared out from a silver, lead and zinc mine in Broken Hill, Australia in 1885. So there’s over 150 years of history in this company.
BLT have increased (and continue to increase) their dividends yearly – for 15 years based on their declared dividends. However their dividends are declared in US dollars and so there’s a currency risk for UK investors. The currency risk struck this year, reducing the 2014 payout to 73 pence, which is down from last year’s 76 pence. The dividend calculations are done on dividends that were ex-dividend in 2014 (e.g. company dividend payments number 34 & 35) and I’m using the UK currency determinations from BHP’s records.
So on this basis, I’ve removed BLT from the list.
Quote of the day
Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.