Bunzl plc Reports Strong Increases In Revenue, Profit And Earnings

bunzlBunzl (LSE: BNZL) — the multinational distribution and outsourcing company — is currently up 3.6%, following publication of its annual results for the year to 31 December 2013.

Operating profit rose 18% to £414.4m and pre-tax profit increased 17% to £372.2m (both before intangible amortisation, acquisition related costs and disposal of business), on revenue that grew 14%, to £6,098m.  

Revenue growth was strongly led by the company’s Rest of the World region, at 47%, with North America recording 15%. Continental Europe and UK & Ireland both lagged well behind, posting mere 2% increases in revenue. 

Adjusted earnings per share was up 17%, to 82.4p per share, and the board is recommending a final dividend of 22.4p per share, bringing the full-year dividend to 32.4p, which is a 15% increase on the previous year and continues Bunzl’s 21 year track record of dividend growth.

Over the course of 2013, Bunzl spent £295m acquiring eleven businesses across its range of operations.

Michael Roney, Bunzl’s chief executive, commented:

 “I am pleased to report that Bunzl has delivered another excellent set of results with strong increases in revenue, operating profit, earnings and dividend.  Organic growth, as we continued to gain additional business with existing customers combined with new customer wins, was bolstered further by acquisition activity with 11 acquisitions during the year.

 “We have announced two acquisitions today in Germany and the Czech Republic and we expect to complete further acquisitions in the coming months.  We believe that an improving macroeconomic outlook, Bunzl’s strong competitive position and the full year impact of the 2013 acquisitions should lead to good growth at constant exchange rates in 2014 as we continue to build value for our shareholders.

But the company did sound a note of caution, commenting that the recent strengthening of sterling would negatively affect future reported results if exchange rates remain at their current levels.

At 1,540p, Bunzl’s share price is up 26% on this time last year, comfortably beating the FTSE 100’s 7.7% gain. And the story is repeated over five years, with Bunzl’s 186% rise far-outstripping the 75% increase made by the FTSE 100.   

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Jon doesn't own shares in Bunzl.