DCC to focus expansion on US and European markets

By Geoff Percival

DCC is set to focus its short-term expansion plans on the US and mainland Europe, with around £500m-£600m (€570m-€680m) available to it for acquisitions over the next two years.

Over the past year, the Dublin-headquartered support services group has expanded its LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) and healthcare divisions outside of Europe, with the latter making its first acquisition in the US and the former its first purchases in the US and Asia.

On the back of a strong set of annual results showing a 16.3% rise in group revenue to £14.3bn and a near-27% jump in pre-tax profits to £316.4m, chief executive Donal Murphy said the moves into North America and Asia “will provide further opportunities for both organic and acquisitive growth”.

It is understood, however, that even with such a large warchest available for the next 12-24 months, DCC will target European and US takeover opportunities and opt to take a medium-term expansion view on Asia.

It is keen to learn more there after buying Shell’s former commercial fuels businesses in Hong Kong and Macau for over €140m last year.

DCC spent £355.3m on acquisitions last year, £251m of which was spent by the LPG division.

A spokesperson said the group will continue to look at acquisition opportunities across each of its four divisions, which all showed strong earnings growth in the 12 months to the end of March.

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