Bunzl posted 20% rise in revenue and 17% increase in profit before income tax during H1. The appeal of a defensive company in uncertain times is clear from outperformance of Bunzl shares with dividend rise proving attractive.

As Bunzl posts its first half results Ian Forrest, investment research analyst at The Share Centre, explains what it means for investors:

Distribution and outsourcing group Bunzl announced interim results today which showed a 20% rise in revenue to £4.1bn and a 17% rise in profit before income tax.

The company, which is best known as a supplier of food packaging, also revealed a 'significant' 3.7% rise in organic growth as it benefited from the weak pound. A steady flow of acquisitions has been a big part of the group's strategy and interested investors should appreciate that this has continued over the period with businesses in France and China purchased recently.

Bunzl (PD)

Commenting on its first half performance, the group's Chief Executive Frank van Zanten, highlighted how it has 'once again' delivered good increases and that, with four months remaining, the company is already at a record level of annual committed spend of £546m. Looking forward, investors should recognise that Bunzl is confident that prospects remain positive and that continued growth is expected both organically and through acquisition.

These are good results and with so much focus on acquisitions it is good to see the increase in organic growth in the key North American region. The appeal of a defensive and well-managed company in such uncertain times is clear from the outperformance of the shares, and a further 8% rise in the dividend is a further positive for investors. We continue to recommend Bunzl as a buy for lower risk investors with a balanced portfolio.

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