Guess which ASX dividend shares have grown their payouts every year for two decades!

Both of these stocks have impressive dividend track records.

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Only a very small number of ASX dividend shares have increased their payouts every consecutive year for the past two decades.

In comparison, some overseas companies have managed dividend increases for more than 50 years in a row, but the ASX doesn't have any listings that have been as consistent.

So, how many companies rate as the best the ASX has to offer in terms of a 20-year plus dividend track record? It's an exclusive group of two.

APA Group (ASX: APA)

This ASX dividend share has grown its annual distribution every year since 2004.

APA owns a huge network of gas pipelines around Australia, transporting half of the country's usage. It also owns gas processing, storage, and energy generation facilities.

In recent years, this ASX dividend share has been working on growing its exposure to renewable energy. It owns solar and wind farms and electricity transmission assets. For example, it has acquired the Basslink cable, which can take hydropower from Tasmania to mainland Australia and send power in the opposite direction if needed.

APA pays its distribution from the cash flow generated by its assets. The more assets it has, the better the cash flow and the bigger the distribution.

APA currently has a few bolt-on pipeline projects on the go, which can add further earnings once completed.

It expects to pay a distribution yield of 5.67% in FY24.

Washington H. Soul Pattinson and Co. Ltd (ASX: SOL)

Soul Patts was listed in 1903, which makes it one of the oldest businesses on the ASX.

Impressively, it has paid a dividend every year since 1903, and it has grown its annual ordinary dividend every year since 2000.

How has it achieved that? It operates as an investment house with a portfolio of assets that generates (and distributes) "defensive" cash flow.

Soul Patts invests in many ASX shares, including TPG Telecom Ltd (ASX: TPG), Tuas Ltd (ASX: TUA), Brickworks Limited (ASX: BKW), Pengana Capital Group Ltd (ASX: PCG), Perpetual Ltd (ASX: PPT) and New Hope Corporation Ltd (ASX: NHC).

The ASX dividend share also invests in an array of unlisted assets and businesses such as Ampcontrol, swimming schools (Aquatic Achievers), credit, agriculture, financial services and education.

It's the net cash flow from investments that Soul Patts uses to pay for its dividends. In the FY24 first-half result, the net cash flow from investments increased 6.9% year over year to $263.4 million, supporting an 11.1% increase of the interim dividend to 40 cents per share.

I think there's a very good chance Soul Patts will increase its dividend next year and make it 25 years in a row of dividend increases.

Motley Fool contributor Tristan Harrison has positions in Brickworks and Washington H. Soul Pattinson and Company Limited. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has positions in and has recommended Brickworks and Washington H. Soul Pattinson and Company Limited. The Motley Fool Australia has positions in and has recommended Apa Group, Brickworks, and Washington H. Soul Pattinson and Company Limited. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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