The Investment Column: DCC
Tuesday 09 November 1999
Yesterday's half-year results were a rejoinder to DCC's detractors. Organic sales growth touched 17 per cent as the group enjoyed the continuing strength of the Celtic economy. And even now, DCC is enjoying buoyant demand from the IT sector.
With IBM and Dell placing greater logistical demands on DCC, the group has established a separate supply-chain management business, SerCom. While sales are increasing here, continued investment saw it post a slight loss in the period.
Gearing is at a comfortable 29 per cent, enabling the group to continue its bolt-on acquisition strategy.
On the downside, DCC faces difficulties in energy distribution, where the sharp rise in the oil price saw margins almost halve.
Analysts expect pre-tax profits of 70m euros (pounds 109m) and earnings of 67c in the full year, putting the shares, up 17.5p at 460p yesterday, on a forward price-earnings ratio of just 11. They are too cheap.
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