Molins, the UK packaging equipment provider, is aiming to lead consolidation in the packaging machinery industry after returning its own division to the black in the first half.
The cigarette manufacturing and packaging machinery group yesterday reported a jump in pre-tax profits from £3.3 million (€5.2m) to £5.5 million in the six months to 30 June, helped by the move in its packaging machinery arm from previous first-half losses of £1.8 million to a profit of £300,000.
Peter Byrom, chairman, said the company was looking at a lot of packaging machinery businesses. Prices up to now had been fanciful, but more realistic values appeared to be on the horizon. The company, which provides the machinery that makes pyramid tea bags among other consumer packaging, was ready to spend up to £20 million on businesses with the right synergies.
The latest profits were struck on almost flat turnover of £48.6 million, made up of £30.6 million from cigarette machinery and £18 million from the packaging division.
Charles Stanley is forecasting that the company will have pre-tax profits for the full year of €12.9 million (€8.2m) and £16.3 million in 2003.