Private label boosts Buhrmann profits…


Buhrmann more than tripled its net profit in 2004 to Euro139 million ($177.7 million) from 143 million in 2003, thanks to reduced financing costs and a shift to higher margin private label products.

Sales for the year came in at Euro5.54 billion, down from 18.05 billion in the previous year – largely down to lower prices as a result of the private label shift. Buhrmann president/CEO Frans Koffrie said: "I am pleased with the improved earnings. Positive trends continued into the fourth quarter with a further improvement in underlying sales, added value and operating profit.

"All in all we are positive about prospects for further success in 2005, based on our expectations of a steady improvement in market conditions."

Amsterdam (NL)