Distribution and services group Bunzl has seen its UK revenue sink amid supply chain disruptions, but keeps its sights locked on growing past 2019’s revenue.
In the UK, revenue sank 10.3 per cent as Covid-19 related sales began to ween, which was knocked by a “slow return to normal activity amongst manufacturing and construction customers, with the recovery in cleaning and hygiene also limited by the number of people yet to return to offices,” the group said.
The group’s total revenue hit £4.86bn in the six months to 30 June, climbing just past last year’s $4.84bn. Operating profit lifted 8.8 per cent to £304.1m, up from £279.4m in the first half of last year.
Shares dipped 3.81 per cent to a total share price of 2,578.00 in its afternoon trading.
Basic earnings per share swelled 13.8 per cent, pulling in some 63.3p per share. Bunzl also upped its dividend from 15.8p to 16.2p in the period.
“Our outlook for 2021 is unchanged and we continue to expect, at constant exchange rates, underlying revenue to be moderately higher than the pre-pandemic period in 2019,” CEO Frank van Zanten said in a statement.
“While some regions have seen a strong recovery, others have experienced greater pandemic-related restrictions at various points over the last six months.”
The group’s retraction in Covid-19 related sales, its CEO explained, has not materially impacted the business as the potential loss has been offset by Bunzl’s recovery.
The group has confirmed two new Spanish buyouts from July for undisclosed sums. Bunzl has bagged Spain’s largest independent safety distributor Proin Pinilla – which raked in £15m in revenue last year.
Bunzl has also bought Arprosa, a personal protective equipment (PPE) supplier, which generate some £7m in revenue last year.
“Year to date we have now completed eight acquisitions and with the strength of our cash generation continue to see significant opportunity to self-fund further acquisitions. Our pipeline remains active and discussions ongoing,” the group’s boss said.