Ellis doubles polymers business

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Ellis & Everard, the leading UK chemicals distributor, yesterday revealed a 24 per cent halftime profits advance and the £9.5m cash acquisition of two polymer distribution companies in the Netherlands and the UK, writes Martin Flanagan.

The acquisitions double the polymers business of Bradford-based Ellis. The group has bought Horneman (UK Ltd) and Horneman (Holland), which have combined sales of £32m. Jonathan Taylor, Ellis's chairman, said the move was a significant strategic development of the group's business into Europe. Horneman (Holland) is a leading distributor of polypropylene to the Dutch market.

Meanwhile, the British group announced that in the six months to October 1994 pre-tax profits jumped 24 per cent to £10.5m against £8.5m last time. Earnings per share moved ahead 22 per cent to 8.8p from 7.2p, and the dividend rises 10 per cent to 2.7p against 2.45p in the corresponding period in the previous year.

Mr Taylor said Ellis had enjoyed solid trading in the UK and Ireland, with sales rising by 18 per cent to £106m.

Operating profits in those countries increased to £6.6m (£5.5m). He said the Wolverhampton-based Ronmar Plastics business, acquired at the beginning of 1994, had also been integrated and was surpassing expectations.

The shares added 1p to 261p.