Smaller Companies: Field wraps up paper deal
Sunday 10 August 1997
The deal was hardly earth- shattering. It paid pounds 5m for Tudor Labels, a supplier of self-adhesive labels to the pharmaceutical, cosmetics and food sectors. The deal is one of several small bolt-on purchases it has made since it came to the market in 1993.
Yet despite the track record of previous acquisitions, the company has fallen out of favour. Some of this is down to the exuberance of sterling, but there is also a general malaise across the sector. The likes of De La Rue and Rexam have seen their shares knocked on concerns ranging from the quality of management to overcapacity.
Yet Field has an interesting story to tell, which suggests the shares have been unfairly grouped in with the problem children of the sector. Sterling, admits chief executive Keith Gilchrist, is a problem. Sourcing raw materials, which are denominated in marks, dollars, and Scandinavian currencies can make for headaches. Add in the fact that many of the labels and packaging it makes are destined for export, and the rise in sterling has further implications.
But the company has performed a successful juggling act. To reduce its exposure to the vagaries of sterling and price fluctuations in carton board, its main raw material, it has been busy tying up long-term contracts with suppliers, of two to three years. Mr Gilchrist says the group has benefited from the expertise it obtained from its Belgian acquisition. Techniques to shorten delivery times and prompt customers to commit to precise quantities have helped free up working capital.
Field has plenty of blue-chip customers with which it has a close relationship, having bought out the high-street retailer's packaging business. But it is not over-dependent on any one sector, or client. Clients range from tobacco companies to Marks and Spencer and pharmaceutical firms.
With a record of steadily rising profits, a sensible acquisitions policy, and clever management, investors should have every confidence. The group would make an attractive morsel for a Continental marauder. While Field's management hold out for their independence, that alone should limit any downside. The shares represent good long-term value.
Culinary experts in The Netherlands thought it was 'fresh' and 'tasty'
- 1 Nokia no more: Microsoft drops once-ubiquitous mobile name – in favour of its Lumia brand
- 2 Renee Zellweger on plastic surgery: 'I'm living a more fulfilling life and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows'
- 3 Jimmy Carr's controversial Oscar Pistorius joke goes too far at the Q Awards
- 4 Australian café owner sparks debate after saying 'No' to having unruly children on premises
- 5 NHS staff banned from drinking tea or coffee on the job because it looks like they're not working hard enough
Renee Zellweger on plastic surgery: 'I'm living a more fulfilling life and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows'
Isis releases first video showing the stoning of woman accused of committing adultery as her father shouts 'don't call me Dad'
Diwali: What is the festival of lights – and how is it celebrated around the world?
Nathan Cirillo: Final pictures emerge of soldier moments before he was shot dead by Ottowa gunman
Ottawa shootings: Terror strikes Canadian capital as attacks leave one soldier and one suspect dead
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'
iJobs Money & Business
£350 - £360 per day: Ashdown Group: SQL Developer with T-SQL, Watford, Hertfor...
120-150k: Accountancy Action: We are looking for an experienced CFO from a min...
£24000 - £28000 per annum + bonus & benefits: Ashdown Group: IT Business Syste...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: The SThree group is a world le...