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G&L Beijer increases sales by 17%

IN A year which saw it make more acquisitions, Europe's largest refrigeration wholesaler G&L Beijer increased sales by 17% to £552m (SEK5,846.4m) in 2011. Acquisitions contributed £72m (SEK759m) to those sales and have strengthened G&L Beijer's position as the third biggest refrigeration wholesaler in the world.
The company which owns Dean & Wood and now United Refrigeration in the UK reported commercial refrigeration sales of £420m (SEK4,448m) and accounted for 77% of the business area's sales. Comfort cooling and heat pumps achieved sales of £120m (SEK1,271m) and accounted for 22 %.

The company acquired six companies last year with total annual sales of approximately £198m (SEK2,100m). The largest was the strategic acquisition of Toshiba's air conditioning and heating distribution operations in 11 countries. The acquisition strengthened Beijer Ref's position within air conditioning and heat pumps in Europe, whilst Germany became a new market for the Group. After the acquisition, air conditioning now accounts for around 35% of sales.

Another significant move was the acquisition of United Refrigeration's refrigeration wholesale operations in the UK and France. This has strengthened Beijer's position in these markets, while the purchase of Italian chiller manufacturer SCM Frigo group was a strategic acquisition that has brought increased sales through Beijer Ref's distribution organisation. Further acquisitions were made in southern Africa, Thailand and Norway.

Meanwhile, the Swedish subsidiary AIA, a manufacturer of heat exchangers, was bought by the Italian Lu-Ve Group

All markets in which Beijer Ref operates developed positively during the year but best performing markets last year were Eastern Europe - albeit from low levels - France, Italy and Spain. The UK and Central Europe was slightly slower.

Southern Europe is Beijer Ref's largest market with 33% of sales. Central Europe and the Nordic countries account for 21% each. South Africa accounts for 10%, the UK and Ireland for 8%, Eastern Europe for 5% and Asia for 2%. Sales in Beijer Ref's largest individual market, France, amounted to £115m (SEK1,213m). Holland accounted for £63m (SEK667m), South Africa for £56.5m (SEK 598m), Italy for £52m (SEK549m), the UK for £44m (SEK464m), Switzerland for £41m (SEK432m) and Spain for £24m (SEK252M) of total sales. The Nordic countries, Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland, reported combined sales of £103m (SEK1,093m).

In the annual report, md Joen Magnusson did not rule out the possibility of further acquisitions this year.

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