UPDATE 1-Bunzl makes acquisitions in Chile, United States and New Zealand
LONDON, April 16 (Reuters) - British business supplies distributor Bunzl announced three acquisitions for a total of 80 million pounds ($134 million) on Wednesday after reporting a 5 percent rise in first- quarter revenue.
The group said it had acquired protective footwear supplier Tecno Boga in Chile, supplies distributor Plast Tech Enterprises in the United States and Nelson Packaging Supplies in New Zealand as part of its strategy to expand into new countries.
Bunzl, which distributes products such as carrier bags, food packaging and hygiene products, said in February it was looking for more companies to buy after acquisitions helped its pretax profit rise 17 percent last year, beating forecasts.
The acquisitions represent a significant expansion of Bunzl's operations in Chile and add new capabilities and scale to its existing businesses in the United States and New Zealand, Chief Executive Michael Roney said in a statement.
The company spent 295 million pounds on acquisitions in 2013, its highest level since 2004. Analysts estimate Bunzl may spend around 300 million pounds per year on acquisitions for the next four years.
Group operating profit rose by 10 percent in the first quarter, and revenue growth was at a similar level to the same period last year but the company warned its results had been negatively affected by foreign exchange rates.
Shares in Bunzl were up 1.3 percent to 1,595 pence at 0705 GMT.
($1 = 0.5977 British Pounds) (Reporting by Li-mei Hoang; Editing by Erica Billingham and Mark Potter)
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