- Distribution and services group Bunzl forecast strong growth in second-half sales after they rose 4% in the third quarter, though it added its outlook remained uncertain due to Covid-19 restrictions.

On a constant currency basis, sales for the three months through September had climbed 8.8%.

Since 30 June, sales of the company's top eight Covid-19 related products, which were primarily own brand, contributed 17.5% of growth to underlying revenue, which was up 8%.

This growth more than offset a 9.5% decline in revenue from other product sales.

Looking forward, the outlook remains uncertain, particularly considering current pandemic trends and the increasing restrictions which were now being reintroduced in some markets that may limit the continued underlying recovery, the company said.

'Larger Covid-19 related orders are expected to be more limited,' it added.

'However, given the performance year to date and the impact of recently announced acquisitions, the company currently expects revenue in the second half of 2020 to grow strongly at constant exchange rates and anticipates a slightly higher second half operating profit margin compared to the prior year.'

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