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Hays, the distribution and business services group led by Ronnie Frost (above) is set for the acquisition trail. Mr Frost says he is looking at deals of more than pounds 100m in Europe, with France and Germany the main priorities. The company has been seeking to expand it commercial division which includes document exchange and courier businesses. "In fishing terms, I've had a lot of nibbles but no bites," he said. Mr Frost was speaking as he unveiled another set of upbeat results. Half-year profits rose by 20 per cent to pounds 61m on sales up from pounds 378m to pounds 465m.

Investment Column page 18