Six investment companies have joined the 'next generation' of 'dividend heroes' list compiled by the Association of Investment Companies (AIC), the trade body confirmed.
Fidelity Special Values, Lowland Investment Company, Schroder UK Mid Cap, Law Debenture Corporation, Tetragon Financial Group and CQS New City High Yield joined the 25-strong club of trusts that have increased their payouts for ten consecutive years.
A further four next generation dividend heroes have announced they will hike their dividend payment for an extra year. Aberdeen Asian Income and Murray International said they would raise their dividends for the 11th and 15th years respectively, while Athelney Trust and BlackRock Throgmorton confirmed their 16th successive increase.
With listed companies cutting their dividends amid a backdrop of falling markets as the coronavirus pandemic continues to suppress consumer demand, the AIC's communications director Annabel Brodie-Smith said the news showed "investment companies' unique income advantages [had] come to the fore".
"Investment companies can squirrel away up to 15% of the income they receive each year into a revenue reserve, which can help them boost dividends at times when companies in their portfolio can't," Brodie-Smith said.
"Of the 25 investment companies which make up the next generation of dividend heroes, 12 have been consistently raising their dividends since before the global financial crisis.
"While dividends are never guaranteed, the structural benefit which has helped investment companies deliver growing dividends in falling markets should be a comfort to investors at this time."
The news comes a week after the AIC confirmed seven firms on its dividend heroes list - those that have upped their payouts for 20 years on the spin - had increased their dividends once again.
Taking the two lists combined, it means a total of 46 investment companies, or 14% of the total universe, have grown their dividends for ten years or more.
Laura Foll, co-manager of Lowland, said she expected more companies to cut or suspend their dividends in the coming weeks. "However, Lowland has a substantial revenue reserve built up over many years which equates to almost 90% of last year's dividend payment," said Foll.
"Therefore, we are going into this period of weaker dividend payments in a strong position."