LONDON -- The FTSE 100 (FTSEINDICES:^FTSE) has been providing some nice capital-appreciation over the past year, especially since the start of January. The index of the U.K.'s largest companies set a five-year intraday record of 6,534 points yesterday -- though it finished today's trading session down 0.45% to 6,481.5.
There are dividends, too: The FTSE 100 offers an average yield of about 3.1%. But what of individual companies? Here are three whose dividends were lifted this week.
Car dealer Inchcape announced a forecast-beating full-year dividend rise of 32% to 14.5 pence per share on Tuesday for a yield of 2.8% on the current share price of 522 pence. That's perhaps not a great yield, but it does mark another strong year of recovery after the dividend was suspended in 2009.
The share price has done well, too, putting on 70% since last summer's low point. Forecasts for 2013 have been blown out of the water now, and we are awaiting a rerating from the City's analysts.
Alliance Trust (LSE:ATST)
One of the nice things about investment trusts is that they are able to retain profits in boon years in order to maintain regular steady dividends. And that's something shareholders were able to celebrate this week, as Alliance Trust, one of the largest in the U.K., managed to raise its full-year dividend for a remarkable 46th year in a row.
The latest rise was reported, along with 2012 full-year results, on Tuesday. Alliance Trust will be paying out 9.63 pence per share, made up of an ordinary dividend of 9.27 pence and a special dividend of 0.36 pence per share. With the shares at 435 pence today, that's a yield of 2.2%.
IT infrastructure provider Computacenter is our third dividend-lifter this week. Adjusted pre-tax profit for the year to December 2012, announced on Tuesday, fell 4% to 71.3 million pounds after revenue grew by 2.2% to 2.91 billion pounds. Adjusted earnings per share fell by 3.5% to 36.1 pence. But the firm still lifted its total dividend by 3.3% to 15.5 pence per share for a 3.3% yield on the current share price of 480 pence.
Computacenter's dividends have been growing steadily over the past five years, with current forecasts suggesting another two years of rises.
Dividend rises like these three are always welcome, and companies that manage steady payouts form the cornerstones of many a portfolio. Whether you're investing for income or growth, good old cash is always welcome. And that's why I recommend the brand-new Fool report "The Motley Fool's Top Income Share For 2013," in which our top analysts identify a share they believe will provide handsome dividend income for years to come. But it will only be available for a limited period, so click here to get your copy today.