LONDON, June 22 (Reuters) – British distribution group Bunzl (BNZL.L) said acquisitions and growing revenues in North America had boosted trading in the first half of the year and that cost cuts and favourable exchange rates also made it more profitable.
Having announced five acquisitions so far this year with combined revenues of 85 million pounds ($132 million), the supplier of products ranging from carrier bags to builders’ hard hats, said takeovers remained key to its strategy.
“The company expects that the current environment will lead to more transactions being finalised during the remainder of the year,” the company said in a trading statement on Tuesday.
Bunzl said it had enjoyed revenue growth in North America during the first six months of the year, largely due to growing business with existing customers, and that acquisitions had ensured growth in continental Europe.
In the UK and Ireland sales were lower than a year earlier due to “persisting difficult economic conditions” but profits rose thanks to an improved operating margin.
“Overall trading is in line with full year expectations with group revenue growth of 2 percent,” the company said.
Shares in Bunzl were down 2.1 percent at 730.5 pence by 0706 GMT, underperforming its FTSE 100 peers.
(Reporting by Paul Hoskins; editing by Matthew Scuffham)