Julien Eichinger - stock.adobe.c

Exertis delivers for DCC

Half year numbers show that although facing its challenges the Technology side of the business is performing strongly

Exertis has delivered the numbers for parent DCC with the firm contributing heavily to to operating profits in the first half of the firm's fiscal year.

For the six months to 30 September adjusted operating profits in the Technology division, which includes Exertis, at DCC increased by 42.6% coming in at £25.4m, compared to £17.8m a year earlier. That made the operation the biggest contributor, with DCC LPG, retail & oil and healthcare units all coming in with lower levels. Revenue in the tech operation increased by 13% to hit £1.795bn.

Tim Griffin, DCC Technology and Exertis Group, managing director, said that the acquisitions had played a major part in the success of the technology division, giving it the opportunity to offset some of the challenges that had dogged the UK market.

"The Technology division had a stellar performance with 13% growth in topline and 43% in operating profit. It is a consequence of the strategy we have been driving, supported through acquisitions, to deliver both organic and inorganic growth," he said.

He added that in the UK consumer confidence had been hit by Brexit, and now by the election, and the trade war between the US and China had also made things difficult. On the enterprise side the hopes were that a fresh infrastructure upgrade cycle was not that far off from starting.

"We are looking for consumer confidence to bounce and for the natural enterprise refresh cycles," he added that the priority was to look after its people and customers and it would continue to build a specialist portfolio to gain access to more geographical and market coverage.

"The specialist thing is only as good as your people and making [Exertis] a great place to work. Success is being able to have people that are subject matter experts," he added.

Acquisition, particularly in specialist areas like AV, has been a feature of DCC's activities in the channel and the firm used the results as an opportunity to announce a double acquisition, adding Bconnected a mobile services business in Ireland and Kerèn B.V an AV business in the Netherlands.

Griffin said that he remained optimistic about the prospects for its second half and hoped that it could improve the organic UK growth levels.

Overall DCC saw revenues remain largely flat at £7.3bn, down by 1.4% year-on-year, with adjusted operating profits improving by 14.5% to reach £162.6m.

DCC's chief executive Donal Murphy said he also remained optimistic about the prospects for the second half and is upbeat about the momentum in Exertis being maintained.

“I am pleased to report that the first half of the year has been another period of good growth and development for DCC. The business has performed strongly, with Group operating profit well ahead of the prior year and all divisions delivering good profit growth, despite the more difficult economic and market backdrop, particularly in the UK," he said.

"Notwithstanding the continuing uncertain macroeconomic outlook impacting the UK economy, and the Technology business in particular, the Group believes that the year ending 31 March 2020 will be another year of good operating profit growth and further development and will be broadly in line with current market consensus expectations,” he added.

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