We believe that we have made further good progress in the ongoing execution of our strategy.
The key development in DCC Energy was the significant expansion of our LPG business through the commitment of €100 million to the acquisitions of BP’s businesses in Britain, the Netherlands and Belgium and Statoil Fuel & Retail’s LPG businesses in Scandinavia. These acquisitions have significantly increased the scale and geographic scope of DCC Energy’s LPG business in Europe which now operates in six countries with market leading positions in the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden and strong number two positions in Britain and Ireland. In Oil, the unconditional clearance of the acquisition of certain oil distribution assets in the UK previously owned by Total paves the way for DCC Energy to continue to pursue its objective of further increasing its share of the oil distribution business in Britain. DCC has recently established a greenfield operation in Bavaria operating under the brand Top Oil Bayern and since the year end it has acquired a small oil distribution business in Bavaria, which trades as Bronberger & Kessler. DCC Energy now has oil distribution businesses in six countries in Europe.
DCC SerCom is the number two player in the IT distribution market in Britain. The business has been particularly focused on gaining market leadership in specific growth segments of the market and is now the number one distributor of mobile computing products and the fastest growing distributor of smart phones. DCC SerCom also made two modest acquisitions during the year, in line with its strategy to expand its product range and its geographic coverage. The first of these was Go Telecom, a small Dutch business providing products and services in the unified communications segment of the market (including hardware, software and services for audio, video and telepresence conferencing). This was followed by the acquisition of a small distributor of Apple products in Ireland.
In DCC Healthcare, the acquisition of Kent Pharmaceutical (Holdings) Limited (“Kent Pharma”) represented a significant expansion of its pharma business in Britain which now has a leading position in the British generics market. Kent Pharma brings a highly complementary product portfolio, product licence ownership and strong relationships in the British retail pharmacy channel. In the near term, the enlarged pharma product portfolio and increased sales and marketing resource should generate further growth opportunities for DCC Healthcare in Britain. Over time, the enhanced pharma regulatory and business development capability will also create opportunities for sales development in other geographic markets, in particular within the EU and in the Middle East and North Africa region.
As our business grows, we are committed to developing and augmenting our management resource at Group, divisional and subsidiary levels. DCC has benefited from the strengthening of the team in recent years and I am pleased that in the last year there has again been further development which has provided opportunity for existing employees and also allowed us to bring in new talent to the Group.
Embedded in DCC’s strategy is a commitment to maintaining financial strength through a disciplined approach to balance sheet management. We are pleased that in the year ended 31 March 2013, which was a year of substantial revenue growth and a year of record development expenditure, we ended the year with a net debt:EBITDA ratio of 0.7 times and an EBITDA:net interest ratio of 17.1 times. This strong financial position, along with the Group’s liquidity position, which was augmented by the recent debt fundraising, leaves DCC well poised for continuing development.