A backdrop of near-consistent earnings growth has enabled drinks giant Diageo to keep shareholder payouts trucking higher during the past five years, with dividends rising at a strong compound annual growth rate of 7.9% since 2010.
Diageo's size (it's a �43bn FTSE 100 company), geographical spread (sales in over 180 countries), and 'defensive' qualities (less impacted by economic conditions than many businesses) make this a relatively steady share.
There's no denying that Diageo (LSE: DGE) has underperformed this year. Concerns about the company's growth have spooked investors and sales within China have been hit hard by the government's anti-extravagance measures.
2014 has been a tough year for the FTSE 100. It has been weighed down - especially of late - by a weak Eurozone, fears about the spread of Ebola and the US ending its monthly asset repurchase programme.