After reporting strong H1 results for 2000, Australian food ingredients company Burns Philp & Co has revealed that it is scouting for acquisition targets among the food companies which supply products to the same customers in its key markets in North America, South America, Europe, Asia and Australia.

Managing director Thomas Degnan explained: “We are looking at opportunities to add businesses which fit our global platform. The future, I think, of the business [is] to build the bakery ingredients side.”

“We’ve identified some places and had some discussions, but we’re nowhere near ready to enter into serious discussions. I would also say that some of the targets that we’d like aren’t for sale,” he added.

Burns Philp came close to collapse in 1997, but has invested in regenerative cost reduction and capacity expansion projects that are due to come to fruition over the next financial year 2001-2 and beyond.

For this last half to 31 December, the company posted net profit down 2% to A$58.1m but also a dramatic 6.8% increase in sales to A$743.3m. For the full year, Burns Philp expects to post earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) in the same range as last year.