DCC is one Ireland's largest companies employing around 10,000 people across 15 countries. It owns Flogas and Emo in Ireland, and also operates a number of gas and fuel station brands across Europe. DCC announced an 8.6% rise in its operating profit year on year in its annual results today. The energy, healthcare and technology company also said its total revenues rose by over 16% to £14.2 billion.
DCC's chief executive Donal Murphy said the last 12 months had been a great year of growth with strong performance across all four divisions. The company's LPG division grew by 4%, its Retail and Oil grew by just over 20%, healthcare grew by 11%, and the technology business grew by 16%.
"It's also been a record year in terms of capital deployment for us," Mr Murphy said. "We have spent £670m on acquisitions across each of our four divisions, notable acquisitions include the growth of our LPG division into Asia with the acquisition of Shell's business in Hong Kong and Macau, and very importantly for us, our first step into the LPG market in the US which is a very large and very fragmented market. It sits very neatly with DCC's skills of acquiring and integrating businesses where we bought a business called Retail West which gives us a 0.6% share of the US market and a platform for further growth."
Mr Murphy said in DCC's healthcare business, it acquired a business called Elite One Source which also brings the company into the health supplement market in the US. DCC also invested within its retail business, completing the acquisition of Esso's retail business in Norway which gives the company a 250 site network.
"We believe the petrol station market is a very good market," Mr Murphy said, when asked why DCC was buying petrol stations when there is a move to more environmentally friendly transport such as hybrid and electric cars. "We have built a very low cost model for operating petrol stations. We think transport fuels will be the dominant source of fuels for the foreseeable future, and we're making very good returns on our investments," he said.
DCC is not affected by recent hikes in oil prices. "It is very much a pass through business so we buy the commodity and we sell it on into the market. In our oil business, the price increases get passed on on a daily basis to the market, effectively. In our LPG business there's a little bit of a lag effect but effectively they get passed on through into the market," Mr Murphy said.
The chief executive said the company is "very keen to deploy further capital" across each of its four divisions. "It's been a record year in the year just gone, and we're very ambitious to deploy capital in Europe, in the US and within Asia," he added.
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