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June 15, 2020, 2:24 a.m. EDT

Bunzl says first-half revenue to rise 6%

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By Anthony O. Goriainoff

Bunzl PLC said Monday that it expects revenue in the first half of 2020 to increase by around 6% at both actual and constant exchange rates, and that it remains cautious on its second half outlook due to the coronavirus pandemic and its effect on trading conditions.

The London-listed distribution-and-outsourcing group said the volume of orders for Covid-related products seen during the first half isn't expected to be repeated, with many customers having already built significant stocks of products for the remainder of the year.

"While sectors such as retail and foodservice are expected to continue to be affected by reduced, albeit improving, demand, those parts of Bunzl supplying the grocery, cleaning and hygiene, and health-care sectors are expected to deliver a resilient performance, with a potentially mixed trading performance from the safety sector," the company said.

Bunzl said it intends to repay employee-related government support packages and bring forward the settlement of tax deferrals where possible to do so due to its better-than-expected trading performance.

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