McBride has moved into skincare after swooping for Czech manufacturer Dermacol.

The £8m deal hands McBride a 70% controlling stake in the target, with the remaining shares set to transfer in 2017. Previous owner Alphaduct will retain the rights to the Dermacol brand.

McBride chief executive Chris Bull said the deal would “provide McBride with a full range of products to create private label skincare ranges for our customers".

News of the deal came as McBride unveiled a bumper rise in operating profits for the past year, up from £27.4m for the previous 12 months to a new high of £35.2m.

UK sales were up 3% to £316.9m, with McBride claiming like-for-like growth in its core product categories of 9%.

Total sales reached £812.2m, an increase of 2% over the previous year’s mark of £792.4m. The group also slashed its debt over the period from £82.4m to £60m.

"McBride has delivered record sales, profits and cash flow,” Bull said. “We have acquired three businesses, two of which are in the strategic personal care and skin care sectors, and have initiated restructuring projects in UK and Italy to deliver significant cost savings.”

Bull claimed McBride was now well placed to cope with rising material costs and said there was evidence that “extensive branded promotional activity” on cleaning products was easing.

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