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Strong pound cancels Bunzl revenue rise

Tuesday, August 26 12:19:56

British business supplies distributor Bunzl reported a 1pc fall in revenue in the first half of its financial year, hit by the strength of sterling.

The company said in June it expected to see a 6 percent rise in revenue at constant exchange rates, but the strength of the pound wiped out the growth in underlying demand.

Bunzl said today first-half revenue climbed 7 percent at constant exchange rates, helped by the impact of recent acquisitions in Brazil, Germany and the Netherlands.

The company also posted a 5 percent rise in pretax profits to 176.6 million pounds for the six months ended June 30, up from 167.6 million a year earlier.

Bunzl said it had acquired four new businesses in the past two months, with annualised revenue of 34.8 million pounds, bringing its total acquisition spending this year to 119 million.

The company, which supplies supermarkets, hospitals and hotels with products ranging from carrier bags to toilet rolls, has been on a steady acquisition drive, spending 1.7 billion pounds on 80 deals over the past ten years.

Last year, Bunzl spent 295 million pounds on 11 acquisitions, the highest amount spent in a single year since 2004, in countries including Brazil, Australia and Canada.

Analysts have estimated that Bunzl, which generates 83 percent of group revenue outside the UK and Ireland, could afford to spend about 300 million pounds a year on acquisitions for the next four years. (Reuters)

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