Polythene products manufacturer British Polythene Industries (BPI) is considering a number of acquisition opportunities after reporting another year of profit growth.
Chief executive John Langlands says its results have improved every year for the last seven years, which has given it a strong platform for acquisitive growth.
He says the group is seeing significantly more acquisition opportunities than it has in previous years, both in the UK and in Europe.
The comments come as the £175.5 million cap reveals a 7% rise in operating profit to £28.6 million in 2015, up 13% on a constant currency basis and 2.1% ahead of analyst forecasts. This sends the shares 6.7% higher to 688p.
The growth is encouraging given the extremely turbulent polymer prices seen in the first half of the year. Between March and June 2015 the cost of polymer – the raw material in polythene – increased by some 50%, the greatest short-term rise the industry has ever experienced.
Revenue slipped from £499 million to £468 million in 2015, but a strong performance in UK recycling and Europe and a return to profit in North America pushed pre-tax profit 4% higher to £23.1 million. The group has increased its final dividend by 12.5% to 18p.
Investec has upgraded its pre-tax profit and earnings per share forecasts for 2016 by 6.3% and 9.1% respectively. It has increased its target price from 860p to £10.00, implying 45% upside.