Investors set to be cheered by Bunzl’s climbing profits
Specialist distribution group Bunzl is set to have waded through cost inflation and supply chain challenges and emerged with strong sales at the end of the year.
The FTSE 100 company, which sells global businesses a wide range of products from coffee cups to cafes, food wrap to supermarkets, and cleaning materials to hospitals, will unveil its full-year trading update on Wednesday.
Amid an expected quiet week for corporate news, Bunzl could provide some festive cheer for investors after hiking its profitability outlook earlier in the year.
Analysts are expecting the business to report a 20% year-on-year increase in pre-tax profits to £689 million for the year, investment platform AJ Bell said.
Although growth is likely to stall in the following year and Bunzl could see profits hitting £706 million in 2023, just 3% higher.
In October, the group revealed that sales between July and September rose by more than 18% year-on-year and that strong revenue growth was expected for the full year.
Bunzl, like many businesses, have faced rampant cost inflation and supply chain disruption, worsened by Covid and the war in Ukraine.
But the business has been able to keep selling essential products and services to customers that remain crucial to their operations, chief executive Frank van Zanten said earlier this year.
Russ Mould, the investment director at AJ Bell, said: “The FTSE 100 firm supplies the things that other firms need in order to do business; but not items they would sell to their customers.
“The required nature of the products it provides may shelter the firm from the vagaries of the economic cycle, at least to some degree, and also provide Bunzl with pricing power, a key ingredient during inflationary times.”
Pricing power means that it can raise prices without reducing demand in its products.
Analysts said that this, to some degree, will have sheltered the firm from the impacts of inflation and economic downturn that other retailers have suffered from.
Investors will also be looking for an update on the group’s acquisitions, having spent £508 million on 14 acquisitions in 2021, and striking seven deals reported in 2022 so far.
Shares in the FTSE 100 giant have remained relatively stable throughout the year and its current share price remains close to the all-time highs seen earlier this year.