Bunzl hikes dividend as revenues rise

OUTSOURCER Bunzl this morning hiked its dividend seven per cent, as revenue jumped six per cent over the year to December.

Group revenue increased to £5.4bn over 2012 – up from £5.1bn in 2011 – driven by recent acquisitions.

At the start of this year Bunzl snapped up four businesses for around £140m, including Chilean personal protection business Vicsa Safety and its South American subsidiaries.

Operating profit rose seven per cent at constant exchange rates, up to £352.4m last year.

In addition, the FTSE company said it had bought Australian healthcare company McNeil Surgical Pty, boosting its footprint in the country.

"While the macroeconomic outlook remains challenging, particularly in Europe, we believe that our strong market position, growing and resilient customer base and the promising pipeline of opportunities for additional market consolidation will provide the Group with a good platform for further growth," said chief executive Michael Roney.

The total payout has been set at 28.2p for the year.