Johnson Service Group shares surge as work wear business performs well

laundry firm Johnson Service Group yesterday reported a 17 per cent increase in first half pre-tax profit yesterday benefiting from a strong performance from its work wear rental business.

The company made an adjusted pre-tax profit of £6.2m in the six months to 30 June, up from £5.3m in the same period last year.

“I am pleased with the performance of the group in the first half of the year and believe we are well placed for a successful second half,” executive chairman John Talbot said yesterday.

Johnson Service said trading at its work wear rental business had been very strong, with operating profit rising by 13 per cent to £7.6m.

The performance benefited from cost reduction programmes introduced in mid-2009 and “healthy” levels of profitability at Stalbridge Linen Services which supplies hotels, restaurants and caterers to events such as the Cheltenham horseracing festival. The group’s dry cleaning operations have also been restructured. The shares closed at up 18 per cent at 19p last night, valuing it at about £41m.