Support services group DCC has said that its third quarter group operating profit was "very significantly ahead" of the same time the previous year.

In an interim management statement for the third quarter to the end of December, DCC said it saw "excellent growth" in operating profit in most of its sectors, including DCC Energy, DCC Healthcare and DCC Environmental.

However, it noted more difficult trading conditions at its DCC Technology unit.

DCC said it expects that both operating profit and adjusted earnings per share will be very significantly ahead of the prior year and in line with current market consensus

The company described the year to the end of March 2016 as a "milestone year" for development with the completion of its two largest acquisitions to date, Butagaz and Esso Retail France. 

In today's statement, DCC said that operating profits in its energy division was very significantly ahead of the same time the previous year, despite the milder winter weather conditions. 

It said that its recently acquired companies - Esso Retail France and Butagaz - had performed in line with, or modestly ahead of, expectations. 

But operating profit at its technology division was behind the previous year, as the business continued to be impacted by reduced demand for tablet, smartphone and gaming products....