Dividend Growth Portfolio Dividend History

30 European Dividend Stocks – The Noble 30 ⚔

Wow, I finally finished my research! I am so excited that I actually don’t know how to start this post 😃 I am a dividend growth investors since 2014 and I have always been missing a true and focused list of pureplay European dividend stocks.

Well, the waiting has finished, because I have just created one!

European dividend stocks – a brief introduction

For a long time I have been jealous at the US dividend aristocrats, because in my opinion there wasn’t really a true European equivalent.

For instance, US Aristocrats are stocks that must have increased their dividend payouts for at least 25 consecutive years and they must have a minimum market cap of $3 bln. European dividend aristocrats must have a minimum of increasing or sustained dividends for at least 10 consecutive years.

This is pretty “bleh” to me, because this doesn’t include the Great Recession from 2008-2009. It is very easy to grow dividends in the longest bull market ever, but how do we know that they are truly focused on paying out a growing dividend, even when hell is breaking lose and panic is in the streets?

10 years is therefore just too short for me and I am typically reluctant to invest in those companies. I don’t want European dividend aristocrats. I want more!

That’s why I have selected 30 of the best European dividend stocks that have been growing or sustaining the dividend at least since before the Greatest Recession and have a market cap of more than 5 billion.

It is not that common for European companies to have such a track record. The main tradition of dividend policies in Europe is to pay out 50% of earnings. Hence why many dividends are cut again in times like this (pandemic).

Therefore, let me introduce to you the Noble 30 ⚔!

Why this name?

The noble 30⚔ are very special European dividend stocks. They have class, they are elite and they have been reliable so far when it comes to their dividend payments. They are often companies with a very long history, sometimes even dating back to the 19th century.

But they aren’t perfect either. Sometimes they had a year or few that they didn’t increase their dividend. That’s OK, because I expect them in such case at least to maintain it. That’s why it’s neither fair to call them an Aristocrat, because it creates quite some confusion with their US equivalent.

They have one thing in common though: they are true elite European dividend stocks!

Therefore I call them: the Noble 30 ⚔.

I like this name much more, because aristocrats have their title due to hereditary and is often attached to their land. Nobles have been given their social status and are usually still considered as “commoners”. A good example of noblemen were Knights. I believe that this fits much better to my own philosophy to life!

Why just 30?

Putting a limit on the amount of members makes it exclusive.

30 stocks is also a perfect size to build an ETF for. It gives more than enough diversification and it’s much more easier to track. These are also typically high quality companies with a strong focus on shareholder return.

Consider it the equivalent of the Dow Jones Index. Or better said, the Noble 30⚔ Index 💪

The Noble 30 Index

Now that I have introduced you to this, let’s just introduce to you the first MVP of the Noble 30⚔!

30 of the most exclusive European dividend stocks that:

  • have shown resilience during the Great Recession. They have either increased or sustained their dividend since at least since 2006 (14 years now).
  • are of bluechip nature, hence having at least a 5 billion market cap.

Drumroll and without further ado: the Noble 30⚔ index

 TickerNameYears [increase or sustain]Annual dividendPay frequency10 yr growth %
SWX:NESNNestle SA61CHF2,70Annually3,85%
AMS:UNAUnilever NV54€ 1,64Quarterly7,03%
ETR:MUV2Muenchener Rueckvrschrng Gslchft AG Mnch50€ 9,80Annually4,49%
LON:HLMAHalma plc4216,14 pBi-Annually6,33%
EPA:FPTotal SA38€ 2,68Quarterly1,32%
EBR:GBLBGroep Brussel Lambert NV34 *€ 3,15Annually2,18%
EPA:ORL'Oreal SA32 *€ 3,85Annually8,97%
EPA:BNDanone SA32 *€ 2,10Annually4,91%
CPH:COLO-BColoplast A/S31 *17,00 kr.Annually23,86%
AMS:WKLWolters Kluwer30€ 1,18Bi-Annually5,82%
SWX:ROGRoche Holding Ltd. Genussscheine30 *CHF9,00Annually3,15%
LON:SPXSpirax-Sarco Engineering plc29110,00 pBi-Annually9,85%
LON:DGEDiageo plc2968,37 pBi-Annually6,02%
ETR:HEN3Henkel AG & Co KGaA29 *€ 1,83 **Annually10,09%
ETR:SAPSAP SE28 *€ 1,58Annually10,17%
LON:CRDACroda International plc28 *90 pBi-annually7,18%
CBChubb Ltd27$3,12Quarterly8,65%
AMS:DSMKoninklijke DSM N.V.27€ 2,40Bi-annually5,92%
AMS:PHIAPhilips NV26 *€ 0,85Annually1,96%
ETR:SIESiemens AG26 *€ 3,90Annually3,75%
STO:ASSA-BASSA ABLOY AB253,85 krAnnually11,21%
BME:REERed Electrica Corporacion SA25€ 1,05Bi-annually7,27%
SWX:NOVNNovartis AG24CHF2,95Annually2,98%
SWX:LISNLindt & Sprüngli AG24 *CHF1.750,00Annually14,55%
EPA:SWSodexo SA24 *€ 2,90Annually7,95%
CPH:NOVO-BNovo Nordisk A/S23 *8,35 krBi-annually15,36%
ETR:FMEFresenius Medical Care AG & Co. KGaA23€ 1,20 **Annually6,32%
EPA:RMSHermes International SCA22 *€ 5,00Annually12,79%
EPA:SANSanofi SA21€ 3,15Annually2,49%
LON:BATSBritish American Tabacco20201,05 pQuarterly5,82%


* Years identified with an * behind it are stocks for which I’ve not been able to trackback the full dividend history. I was only able to get to this amount of years due to extensive online desk research and therefore it serves as a minimum amount of years. If you have evidence that the company has an even longer track record without dividend cuts, then please get in touch with me. I will be more than happy to increase the quality of data in this overview.

** These companies have announced a postponement of the Annual General Shareholder Meeting (AGM). With that they have also postponed the dividend payment. These stocks need careful consideration regarding their dividend safety.


Now that we know the index, let’s have a look at some of the statistics 👇

Sector Diversification

The index is pretty well diversified and it has a defensive nature with the Consumer Staples and the Health Care sector making up half of the index. Personally I would liked to see the Information Technology sector a bit bigger though.

Noble 30 index - sector diversification

Dividend Yield

The dividend yield for the index as per 28-June-2020 stands at 2,80%. This is not bad as a yield on cost and it beats several Dividends Aristocrats ETF’s that I recently reviewed.

Have a look at the below graph to find all members ranked by yield.

European Dividend Aristocrats Dividend yields

Earnings Per Share – Payout Ratios

The average payout ratio for the index currently stands at 67.65% (28-June-2020). I find that a bit on the high-end and I would like to see a bit lower.

At the moment earnings are severely under pressure due to the global pandemic. Therefore I believe that the figures will even look worse once Q2 earnings have been released.

Dividend Aristocrats - EPS Payout Ratios

Having said that, I will compile some more statistics going forward, so stay tuned!

Evolving the index

I consider this list of European dividend stocks a first MVP. It took me a long time and a lot of effort to do the analysis and get to this list. I have analyzed 200+ stocks and their investor relations pages to make sure that the data presented is as accurate as possible.

Now is the time to further improve this list and really evolve these noblemen. Let me know when you find any mistakes in the data or if you have any further suggestions.

I will personally review the index on a quarterly basis. Dividend cuts would be the main reason why a stock would drop from this list. Let’s cross fingers that this won’t happen too often.

A cautionary note

The Noble 30 are in my opinion very unique European dividend stocks 💪

However, keep in mind that this is from a historical perspective. This doesn’t provide any guarantees for the future, because none of them is untouchable.

As an example, the current COVID-19 pandemic is very tough for many companies and especially in retail. As a result, LVMH (Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton) just recently cut their dividend after at least a streak of 26 years of no dividend cut. This was not a highly leveraged company, but the fall of revenue was simply too much. Without the cut, it would’ve been on this list.

Therefore I urge you to do your own homework when considering purchasing companies from this list. Some companies might be overvalued, others might be severely leveraged and others might be facing very strong headwinds.

The dividend safety is the key subject in my investment strategy when considering to buy stocks.

I invest for dividend as cash flow.

Therefore all my due diligence is focused on dividend safety first and only after that I would consider buying when the price is right.

Final Thoughts

Apologies for the mood in the former paragraph, but I believe it was very important to mention that 😉

Having said that, I’m so happy that I finally finished my dividend history research for all these companies and many more!

I truly believe that this is a great list with European dividend stocks and it sometimes felt like watching a historical documentary when browsing through their annual reports.

I believe that as Europeans we can be really proud on the heritage of some of the companies in the Noble 30 index ⚔.

Some of these companies have strongly influenced society in very positive ways. Just think about the historical achievements of Roche and Novartis. Some illnesses are just a thing of the past now!

Having said that, I just hope to have inspired you with some stock ideas which allows you to strengthen your portfolio.

Would you have any questions, suggestions or if you just want to show some ❤ for this index, then please let me know via the comment section.

If you enjoyed reading this post, then have a look at the below post as well:

Thank you for stepping by!

Yours Truly,

European Dividend Growth Investor

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Change Log

  • 30-Apr-2020: I have removed Royal Dutch Shell from the list. They have announced to cut their dividend by 66% and this was their first dividend cut since the second world war. Read here my take on it.
  • 25-May-2020: I have included Croda International plc to the list to replace Royal Dutch Shell. It’s a company that I wasn’t aware of earlier and should’ve been on the initial list. It ticks all the criteria.

25 comments on “30 European Dividend Stocks – The Noble 30 ⚔

  1. Great research! Thanks

  2. Hi, I found your site recently and it has been very helpful because there are not many investors blogging about EU stocks. Keep it up

    • European DGI

      Hi Libor,

      Thanks for stepping by! Glad to hear, I appreciate your feedback 🙂

  3. That’s a very nice list you have created! Indeed it is hard to find the same sort of dividend aristocrats list for EU companies. Mostly because they tend to adjust their dividend in hard times more easily than in the US.
    Keep up the good work!

  4. I enjoy your blog very much! Not many others who write specifically about our noble European corporations, some of which even have survived the devastation of two world wars. That takes some tenacity. When you did your tease arch, did you by any chance manage to single out the companies who have kept their dividends up all the way from the early 1990:s? There are articles about the American Dividend Aristocrats showing that only some 8 of their companies in fact have managed to be on the list for that long time. Would love to see your statistics on that!

    • European DGI

      Hi Jan,

      I might not fully get your question, but maybe it’s related to your other clarification question?

      All the companies with at least 30 years increase or sustain are the companies that have been growing their dividends since the 90’s.

      Unfortunately not a lot of companies have their annual report archives published with reports from before 2000 on the internet. Therefore it’s often hard to figure out if they were growing their dividends already before that.

  5. PS. Could you define the “Years” in the list: is it years of dividends in general, or years of increased dividends, or years of increased and/or sustained dividends. 🙂

    • European DGI

      Hi Jan,

      Thanks for stepping by and for your appreciation 🙂

      Regarding your question: these are the amount of years that the dividend hasn’t been cut. In other words and to answer your question more specifically: increased or sustained. I have mostly raw /non-formatted data at the moment, but I aim to release all the data in the upcoming weeks like i have done with the Unilever NV history so that you and others can have a look at it as well. It just requires some time on my end to clean and format it.

      PS: thanks for the catch, I’ve updated the column header!

  6. Hi!

    Thanks for sharing all his hard work.

    There are a couple of Spanish companies that fulfill the criteria:

    – Enagas (5.5B and increasing the dividend since 2003). You can find the dividend history in the following link:

    – Inditex (73B and increasing the dividend since 2001). Although due to Covid19 the dividend was recently postponed.

    Keep up the good work!

    • European DGI

      Hola Jose,

      Thanks for stopping by and your suggestions!

      – Enagas is on my list, but just fell out of the top 30 due to the number of years. British American Tobacco is the lowest on the list with 20 years. I treat Enagas as a stock on the reserve list in case one of the current companies would cut their dividend. Enagas is a holding in my desired portfolio (portfolio allocation strategy), because I don’t own any utilities or equivalents yet. I’m currently waiting it a bit out due to the oil crisis while at the same time having other opportunities to strengthen the core of my portfolio.

      – Will look into it from a dividend history perspective. I don’t know why this one didn’t get on my radar when I was looking into the Spanish companies. It would still fall outside of the “top 30”, but it’s a very interesting candidate for the reserve list. I believe very strongly in the future of Zara and I find it a brilliantly executed company!

      Your feedback is very much appreciated 💪

  7. Greatly appreciated the work you put in building this list, and how you give it broader meaning and historical perspective. Kudos all around!

  8. I am grateful for this list. You have done a great job. I am new to investing and receiving dividends. I study all possible ways of investing. Thank you for sharing this information
    about EU stocks.

    • European DGI

      Thanks for stopping by Roger and thanks for your kind words 🙏

  9. Anders

    hi there.
    Good job on a great list. I have quite a few of Them, but surprised no more British companies are on it. Going forward i Would afvise you to relax a few of the limits to include super strong financial insurance companies like AXA SA, Allianz and especially CNP Assurances have an amazing track record. Remember their dividends are currently postponed, but not Cancelled. Its up to the French insurance regulator by October, but I Would fully expect Them to pay by end of the year.

    Best regards,

    • European DGI

      Hi Anders,

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Regarding the British companies: there would indeed be more of them if I gave up on the 5 Billion market cap “rule”. I have that rule because I prefer to focus on the large cap companies, but you’re right. If I would create a small cap equivalent then it would largely consist out of British companies.

      Actually, maybe we just should create the small cap equivalent?

      Regarding the suggestions of the French “powerhouses”: the issue is that they cut their dividends in the great recession. I wanted to draw a line in the sand there (at least no dividend cut during the last Great Recession), but to your point, they might make an excellent investment right now. Like you, I’m not so concerned about them postponing the dividend. I had the same thinking with Danone. I’m sure they would make it to the top 100 of European dividend paying companies.

      Unfortunately though, they didn’t make it to the top 30 in the list, hence the exclusivity.

      I appreciate the feedback!

  10. Milos Markovic

    Great list great job. Just one name missing in my opinion. Rio Tinto.

    • European DGI

      Thanks for stopping by Milos! I heard about that one before and I will have a look at it. It wasn’t on my radar before, so I will check their dividend history to verify if it should be on this list or not.

      Much appreciated 🙂

      • Milos Markovic

        Plus no double tax on dividend as a benefit 😁

  11. Europe is classified as old world, so that fact that the bar is lowered, means that Dividend Aristocrats do not feel well in western europe. I am sad to see that old tobaco killers are still doing well.

    I recently reviewed random sample of US Dividend Aristocrats on my site and significant portion of them underperform S&P500 index even with dividends reinvested.

    • European DGI

      I hear you!

      Regarding the performance: yes, I am not surprised. That’s why we should all do our own homework and not just buy any stock. I prefer to see several aspects like a good balance sheet, a catalyst and a margin of safety when buying shares.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  12. I did a quick check and it seems LISN.SW have decrease their dividend from CHF 1,750.00 to CHF 1,050.00

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