Bunzl Posts $15B in 2023 Sales; Makes Pair of Europe Deals - Modern Distribution Management

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Bunzl Posts $15B in 2023 Sales; Makes Pair of Europe Deals

The company agreed to 19 acquisitions during 2023, respresenting a total investment of $593 million.

Bunzl — a London-based distributor of packaging, disposable supplies, cleaning and safety products — reported its 2023 full-year financial results on Feb. 26 alongside announcing a pair of acquisitions in Europe.

The company posted total 2023 revenue of $14.95 billion, down 2.0% vs. 2022 (-1.9% at constant exchange) and down 0.4% when excluding the company’s December 2022 divestment of its U.K. healthcare business. Bunzl’s 2023 revenue was significantly ahead of 2019, the company noted.

Bunzl’s 2023 operating profit of $1.0 billion jumped 12.5% vs. 2022 as operating margin increased 60 basis points to 8.0%. Adjusted operating profit of $1.20 billion increased 6.6% (+6.2% at constant exchange) and was up 7.6% excluding the U.K. healthcare divestment. The company’s 2023 net profit before taxes was $885 million, up 10.1% vs. 2022.

Acquisitions Update

Bunzl shared that it agreed to 19 acquisitions during 2023, comprised of total committed investment of $593 million. That figure pushed Bunzl’s its total committed acquisition spend to more than $2.1 billion over the past 4 years.

With that, Bunzl announced a pair of pending acquisitions on Feb. 26. 

In the U.K., the distributor is set to acquire an 80% stake in Nisbets, an omnichannel distributor of catering equipment and consumables in the U.K. and Ireland, Northern Europe and Australasia, catering primarily to foodservice customers. Nisbets has over 1,800 employees and generated 2023 revenue of $631 million. 

Terms of the deal include options that enable Bunzl to acquire the remaining 20% stake at a price based on Nisbets’ financial performance. The transaction is subject to customary regulatory approvals.

Meanwhile, in January, Bunzl signed an agreement to acquire its first business in Finland in the form of Pamark — a distributor of cleaning and hygiene, healthcare, foodservice and safety products to a broad range of domestic private and public sector customers. Pushing the number of Bunzl’s operating countries to 33, Pamark generated 2023 revenue of $62 million. That deal is expected to close by the end of February.

“The acquisition of Nisbets is an exciting step for Bunzl. Andrew Nisbet has built a high-quality business, with a well-respected management team,” Bunzl CEO Frank van Zanten said in a news release. “The business is complementary to our operations in the catering equipment sector and will enhance our own brand offering and digital capabilities.”

“Pamark is our first acquisition in Finland and provides us with a strong platform from which to grow our presence across multiple end market segments in the country, supporting further expansion of our footprint in the Nordic region,” van Zanten continued. “This is an excellent start to 2024, maintaining the strong acquisition momentum of recent years. Our pipeline remains active, supported by the strength of our balance sheet.”

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