Bunzl says US growth helps to boost sales

City A.M. Reporter
BUNZL, the distribution and outsourcing company, predicted full-year revenue growth would meet expectations as strength at its US business and acquisitions offset sales falls in Britain and Ireland.

FTSE 100-listed Bunzl, which supplies products such as carrier bags, take-away boxes and healthcare products related to the H1N1 flu virus, said in a trading statement it expected full-year revenue to grow, supported by its acquisition strategy.

The company’s sales over the full-year are expected to grow by an average of 3.8 per cent to £4.8bn, according to market consensus.

For the first half ended 30 June, the company posted a six per cent rise in pre-tax profit to £100m, as revenue rose two per cent to £2.34bn.

“Acquisitions continue to be a key component of the group’s growth strategy. The nine acquisitions which have been announced to date in 2010 have annualised revenue of approximately £150m and are integrating well,” Bunzl said in a statement.

Bunzl, which started life as a haberdashery in Bratislava in 1854, added “the environment for further acquisitions was promising and discussions are ongoing with a number of interested parties.”

The firm, led by chief executive Michael Roney, said that while in North America underlying revenue was strong, in Britain and Ireland revenue was lower than last year because of tough economic conditions in Ireland as well as a decline in demand for safety equipment from construction firms.