Trading company Li & Fung (0494.HK) is pursuing five acquisitions that will extend its reach into Europe and begin boosting profits as early as the second half of this year, the South China Morning Post reported, quoting company executives. The news countered market rumors that Li & Fung, Walmart’s (WMT.NYSE) biggest supplier, had slowed its pace of acquisitions, rumors that had weighed on the company’s stock price. Li & Fung said that it recorded revenue of US$660 million and a pre-tax profit of US$80 million last year. The group did not disclose how much it would spend on the acquisitions, but said they were valued at a price-to-earnings ratio of 6.5. Possible acquisition targets include TVMania, Europe’s largest supplier of character products like Hello Kitty and Mickey Mouse; Loyaltex Apparel, a sourcing firm that supplies to the US, Canada and Puerto Rico; Collection 2000, a UK-based cosmetics distributor; and Exim Designs, a Thailand-based furniture trading firm. Li & Fung aims to double its core operating profit to US$1.5 billion and build three pillar divisions for trading, distribution and logistics by 2013, executives said.