Distribution and outsourcing group, Bunzl, said results for 2003 were in line with market expectations after taking account of the effect of the weak dollar.

Bunzl noted that its outsourcing services unit continued volume growth that more than offset year-on-year price deflation.

The group said deflation in the second half was due to the supermarket industry, "which remains under pressure especially in the US". Bunzl added that the industry "has continued to identify and take advantage of any demand/supply imbalances in the supply chain".

Bunzl will announce full year results on February 23.