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Brenntag Lifts Dividend After Annual Profit Climbs 21% - Update

Chemical distributor Brenntag AG (BNTGF.PK) Thursday reported more than 21 percent increase in annual profit, supported by revenue growth across all regions. The firm announced a 20 percent increase in dividend.

Profit attributable to Brenntag's shareholders increased 21.2 percent to 336.2 million euros ($434.9 million) from 277.4 million euros. Pre-tax profit climbed 14.1 percent to 478.8 million euros.

Sales increased 11.6 percent to 9.69 billion euros from 8.68 billion euros in the prior year. The growth was 7.7 percent on a forex adjusted basis.

Sales grew nearly 6 percent in Europe to 4.549 billion euros. According to the company, business in Europe proved to be resilient despite the challenging macroeconomic situation. The Multisol Group, which was acquired in the previous year, made a solid contribution to Brenntag's results.

North America sales increased 12.5 percent to 3.065 billion euros, in spite of a more difficult market environment. During the year, the firm made two acquisitions in the region - that of the TER Corp. and the Altivia Corp.

Sales in Latin America totaled 919 million euros, up nearly 14 percent from the prior year. At the end of the year, Brenntag acquired the Delanta Group, a distributor of specialty chemicals. This purchase will strengthen its business in the southern part of Latin America in particular.

Asia Pacific sales surged 70.3 percent to 707.6 million euros. The Zhong Yung Group in China, acquired in 2011, significantly contributed to the results thanks to its strong performance in the second half of the year.

The firm announced a dividend of 2.40 euros per share, up 20 percent from last year, reflecting the results.

Steven Holland, CEO, said, "Although the global economic situation provided more and more challenges in the past year, we succeeded in improving our results once again...We are also benefiting from our special combination of local presence and global strength."

Brenntag believes it is extremely well positioned to overcome the challenging market conditions once again in 2013.

The stock slid 0.2 percent on Wednesday to close at 113.85 euros.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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