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Base boost benefits Bunzl

Stronger balance sheet offers scope to do more deals while infrastructure spending is on the rise
Base boost benefits Bunzl
  • Rebound in foodservice business supports top-line growth
  • Two new acquisitions take total this year to eight

Covid-19 was kinder to Bunzl (BNZL) than to many of its peers. The distribution and outsourcing group enjoyed a strong first half of 2020 as people scrambled to secure supplies of facemasks, gloves, sanitiser and other safety items as the pandemic took hold. Predictably, revenue from this part of the business fell in the first half of this year, but was more than offset by a bounce in its base business, as shops and restaurants reopened. Bunzl’s sales were up 6.3 per cent at constant exchange rates to £4.87bn, with revenue from Covid-19-related products down 3.9 per cent, while the top-line contribution from its foodservice and retail business lines, which make up 36 per cent of the group total, increased by 13 per cent year on year. There was progress further down the income statement as operating profits were 9 per cent to the good at £304m, with the underlying margin widening by 50 basis points to 7.5 per cent. 

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