Bunzl’s share price rose considerably in early trading today as it revealed half-year revenue is set to rise despite the pandemic.
The FTSE 100 outsourcer said it expects revenue to the end of June to climb around six per cent despite the impact of coronavirus. That sent shares up six per cent to 1,997p.
Hailing its “resilient” business model, Bunzl said that rise would translate to a five per cent increase in constant currency. Three per cent of that should come from recent acquisitions, while two per cent as a result of higher underlying sales.
In line with most other FTSE 100 firms, Bunzl has cancelled its full-year dividend to ensure it has a cushion against coronavirus.
But while it has seen “substantial” hits to profitability in its food catering and retail sectors, demand for cleaning and hygiene products from healthcare providers jumped during the pandemic.
Demand for cleaning products has been particularly high in continental Europe, where sales are set to increase significantly. North America and the UK & Ireland are both set to post slight increases in revenue.
Bunzl also posted a strong performance in its grocery division.
Overall its profit margin is set to increase slightly in the six months to the end of June.
“In these unprecedented times, I have continued to be immensely impressed by, and proud of, the dedication and resourcefulness shown by our employees throughout our business in responding to the challenging circumstances presented by the Covid-19 crisis,” chief executive Frank van Zanten said.
“Everyone, from our delivery drivers and warehouse staff to the expert salespeople and customer service specialists, has worked tirelessly to ensure that we have been able to meet the urgent needs of our customers and frontline healthcare workers and support them in the supply of critical products required to fight the impact of the virus.”