1 November 2006 — Amsterdam (NL): Buhrmann’s Q3 net sales improved to €1.5 billion, an increase of 5 percent at constant rates.
Organic sales grew 5 percent, driven primarily by North American and European OP divisions and the graphic systems division.
North American OP sales increased 5 percent organically, supported by solid employment and overall market conditions.
Buhrmann said it was encouraged by the progress it has made during recent organisational changes.
Facility supplies, document and print management and promotional marketing showed the strongest growth, with the company’s focus on the mid-market apparently paying off .
The acquisition of Coastwide Laboratories sees the jan/san sector solidify its position as a "cornerstone" of the firm’s strategy, as it expands its range of environmentally sound cleaning products across North America.
Office Products Europe saw organic sales growth of 6 percent.
In a statement, Buhrmann said the acquisition of Andvord Tybring-Gjedde (ATG) in September, presented the company with important market leadership in Norway and Sweden.
"It brings a strong platform for further expansion in the Nordic region and the Baltics and will enable Buhrmann to improve its offering to international customers and leverage central services, merchandising and certain other areas such as transport and warehousing" said CEO Frans Koffrie.
ATG had sales of €78.3 million, 11 percent up on last year at constant rates.
Office Products Australia reported a sales increase of 6.8 percent to €193 million at constant rates. The improvement was attributed mainly to the good performance of facilities supplies, furniture and promotional marketing products — apparently highlighting the success of the company’s single source supplier concept.
The IT business continued its shift away from low-margin large customers to the more attractive small and medium-sized customer segment.
A total of five acquisitions with annual sales of AUS €58 million ($45 million) have been completed in the year-to-date.