DCC tops FTSE 100 after deal to buy Norwegian petrol stations

DCC rose to the top of the FTSE 100 on Tuesday morning after the acquisitive support services group reported and a fresh purchase to boost its petrol station business and said it is on track to meet higher profit forecasts.

The Irish marketing and support services group, whose businesses range from pharmaceuticals to video games distribution, announced a deal to buy a retail petrol station network from ExxonMobil’s Norwegian business.

DCC will pay NOK2.43bn (£235m) plus the value of stock in tank at the date of acquisition for Esso Norges’ retail business, the third-largest network in Norway.

The deal is expected to complete in the final quarter of 2017.

In a separate third-quarter trading update this morning the group also said it is on track to meet the upgraded full-year profit forecasts made in November. Although it did not give any exact numbers, DCC said it recorded strong growth in its energy, technology and environmental arms, though its healthcare business was negatively affected by the weak pound.

DCC has completed more than 200 deals since its flotation in 1994, and shares in the company were boosted recently after analysts at Goldman Sachs suggested the group could boost annual earnings growth by up to 16 per cent through acquisitions over the next two years.

Shares in the group have risen more than 23 per cent since it joined the FTSE 100 in late 2015, and at publication time were up 6.6 per cent for the day, at £67.95.

Tommy Breen, DCC chief executive, said:

The acquisition of Esso Retail Norway is another material step for DCC in building its retail petrol station business in Europe. From a modest position three years ago, DCC Energy will, following completion, operate over 1,000 retail petrol stations and is ambitious to continue this development. The acquisition is consistent with our aim to operate world-renowned retail fuel brands and be an excellent partner for oil majors.

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