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DCC expands French gas business with €110m acquisition

DCC expands French gas business with €110m acquisition

Distribution firm DCC is rolling out plans to increase its presence in the French gas market by buying Paris-based natural gas company Gaz Européen for €110m (£96m).

The company’s chief executive Tommy Breen said the company had been trying to “organically grow” its French business but that buying companies meant it could increase its reach more quickly.

The Dublin-based company, which distributes products in the oil, electronics and healthcare sectors, last year completed its biggest acquisition to date when it bought French gas company Butagaz from Shell for £338m.

The addition of Gaz Européen, which supplies energy management companies, apartment blocks and public authorities in France, gave a “boost” to the roll-out, Mr Breen said.

“When we bought Butagaz we were very clear that one of the opportunities from that, because it’s such a strong brand, was that we could use it to leverage a natural gas business,” he said. “We had started that, but the acquisition of Gaz Européen has given it a boost.”

DCC said today that it expected profits and earnings for the full year to be “significantly ahead” of last year and ahead of current consensus expectations after a number of acquisitions in the last six months.

The FTSE 100 company spent £180.5m on buying a number of companies in the six months to September 30, including Medisource, an Irish pharmaceutical sales business, and Medium, which distributes audio visual equipment in the UK.

Last month it completed the purchase of Hammer, a Basingstoke-based data storage company, for £38.3m.

Pre-tax profits were up 53.5pc compared to last year, to £80.6m, while revenues jumped 10.5pc to £5.6bn.

The company also increased its interim dividend by 12.5pc to 37.17p per share.

Shares in the company jumped as much as 8.87pc in early trading, to £65.65.

Courtesy : telegraph.co.uk

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