Powell Duffryn is to look for acquisitions in the engineering sector after unveiling a 10% rise in engineering profits last week.
The ports and engineering group said it could spend as much as £150m on acquisitions this year.
Chief executive Barry Hartiss said non-core business disposals had left the company well placed to buy, most probably in the UK and continental Europe.
The acquisition plans follow a big rise in half-time profits to £25.8m up from £21.1m this time last year on turnover of £181.4m, up from £172.5m.
City reaction was muted after the group warned growth in the full year was unlikely to be sustained.
The firm’s ports saw steady growth in non-steel cargoes, offset by continued declines in steel export volumes.