Why Bunzl Is Up 24% This Year

LONDON -- Bunzl (ISE: BNZL.L) has advanced 24% to 1,099 pence so far during 2012, making the share one of this year's best performers in the FTSE 100.

The company, which supplies a wide range of day-to-day items such as supermarket plastic bags, restaurant napkins, and hospital aprons, seems to have impressed investors with a series of encouraging statements.

During February, Bunzl issued its annual results. Revenue was up 7% to 5.1 billion pounds, while operating profit rose 10% to 336 million pounds. Adjusted earnings per share grew by 13% to 68.5 pence, and the company increased its dividend by 13% to 26.35 pence per share.

During June, in a trading statement, Bunzl reported that overall trading had been "consistent with expectations," with revenue expected to grow by 7%, aided in part by acquisitions. The firm also said it had seen a slight improvement to its operating margin.

Then, in August, Bunzl's half-year results showed that revenue had grown by the anticipated 7% to 2.6 billion pounds, while pre-tax profit had advanced 8% to 152 million pounds. Adjusted earnings per share grew by 6% to 26.5 pence, and Bunzl's track record of dividend growth continued with an increase of 9% to 8.8 pence per share.

Michael Roney, Bunzl's chief executive, commented:

Even though we have continued to face a challenging marketplace, I am pleased to report another strong set of results. Once again our established strategy of developing the business both organically and through targeted acquisitions has delivered good growth in revenue, profits and earnings.

Looking forward, we believe that Bunzl's strong competitive position and resilient customer sectors, together with opportunities to consolidate further our markets as we expect to complete more acquisitions later this year, should enable the Group to show continued good growth and development.

Bunzl's next trading update will be published on Oct. 19 and may reveal further positive news to impress investors.

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