Irish-based, FTSE 100-listed energy, healthcare and technology company DCC has reported an adjusted operating profit of £122.5m - up over 14% on the same times last year. That was on revenue of just over £1.6 billion pounds - a 16% rise. DCC is a diverse company with operations ranging from distribution to healthcare, technology and energy.
Donal Murphy, CEO of DCC, said it was a record year for the company in development terms, particularly in its energy sector. "We're on track to spend £550m on deals. We have completed ahead of schedule the acquisition of Esso's retail station business in Norway. That gives us a strong number three position in the Norwegian market. We're on target to takeover Shell's LPG business in Hong Kong and Macau and last Tuesday we announced our first acquisition in LPG market in US. It's a large and fragmented market," he added.
The company has made a number of investments in the LPG area, but Donal Murphy said the moves into Asia and the US did not represent a strategic move away from the European market. "This is very much an expansion of our footprint. We've been talking for years about building this LPG business onto a global footprint. We're committed to Europe and will continue to invest there."
DCC Technology has benefited in recent times from the upsurge in cyber attacks which is another area of growth potential growth for the company. "Cybersecurity is one of the product areas where we sell into our customer base. Where there are challenges there are also opportunities where you're selling the technologies," Mr Murphy concluded.
MORNING BRIEFS - Insurer Aviva has announced that it has reached agreement to acquire Friends First for €130m. If cleared by regulators, the deal would make Aviva one of the biggest composite insurers in the country. Friends First - which has been operating for 180 years - is currently owned by the Dutch insurer Achmea Holding.
*** UK venture capital fund BGF is launching a €250m fund aimed at the Irish SME market. The fund is backed by the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund and the two pillar banks. It will provide initial investments of between €2-10m for which BGF will take a minority stake.
*** The Central Bank has paid out over €39m owed to the near 11,000 members of Charleville Credit Union under the deposit guarantee scheme. The High Court formally appointed liquidators to the credit union yesterday following an application by the Central Bank. The credit union's reserves fell short of the level required by the regulator.
*** Irish Ferries operator Irish Continental Group reported a 3% rise in consolidated revenues to around €290m in the first ten months of the year. In a trading update, ICG said that currency fluctuations were offset by an improvement in sterling costs.
*** Germany said its economy grew by 0.8% between July and September, beating analysts' expectations. Euro zone GDP figures - due out later - are expected to show annualised GDP growth of 2.5% - the strongest showing in more than six years. That could provide a boost to the euro.