Monday 16 September 2019

DCC won't stray from focus on core divisions, says CEO

Disciplined: DCC chief executive Donal Murphy
Disciplined: DCC chief executive Donal Murphy
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

DIVERSIFIED group DCC will continue to focus on its four key divisions, and doesn't intend to branch out into other sectors after selling its environmental unit last year, according to chief executive Donal Murphy.

DCC - a FTSE-100 company that has interests across fuel, energy, technology, and healthcare - yesterday reported strong first-half results, with its operating profit rising 15.9pc to £141.9m (€163.2m) in what is the quietest half of its financial year. Revenue from continuing operations was up 24.7pc at £7.4bn (€8.5bn).

"When you look at the businesses that we're in - and they're very broad sectors that we operate in today - we have plenty of opportunities," he told the Irish Independent.

"We don't need to be looking for other things to do at the moment. We went through a period, over the past four or five years, where we streamlined the group," he added.

"We got out of areas that were more marginal for us - the food and beverage business and environmental. I'd say we've plenty of opportunities within the four sectors."

Mr Murphy, who joined DCC about 20 years ago, said the group has completed more than 260 acquisitions since its flotation in 1994.

In the past 12 months, it has spent more than £900m (€1.03bn) on acquisitions. In September, DCC raised £600m in a share placement in order to boost its takeover war-chest.

DCC has extensive interests across Europe. It owns self-service petrol stations in France and Norway, and is the largest distributor of home heating oil in the UK. Its LPG business is its largest division, accounting for almost half its full-year operating profit, most of it generated in continental Europe.

Mr Murphy said that capital deployment in terms of acquisitions will continue to be disciplined. "We have such a range of opportunities to deploy capital and we're really active in trying to find the right opportunities at the right return," he said.

Irish Independent

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