Pest control company Rentokil was the biggest riser on the FTSE 250 this morning, up over seven per cent on the news its adjusted pre-tax profits rose 7.9 per cent to £54.8m – beating analyst expectations of £50.9m.
Despite pre-tax profits falling 18.7 per cent to £51.9m and conditions in continental Europe continuing to be “challenging”, the group’s core business performed well in China, India and Vietnam.
Chief executive Alan Brown, due to step down from the role in October, said:
The business has performed strongly during Q2 despite adverse weather in Central and Eastern US and economic pressures in France and the Netherlands in particular. The introduction of our Integrated Country Operating Model is delivering cost and implementation benefits. The integration of Western Exterminator is proceeding to plan. Our major innovations in Hygiene and Workwear are being rolled out during Q3.
The interim dividend has been increased 4.5 per cent to 0.70p.
The company’s latest publicity stunt for its 85th birthday is a pop-up restaurant in Cheapside this Thursday, where customers can find out about pest control and try a range of delicacies including wasabi ants, sweet chilli pigeon burgers, barbequed grasshoppers, and bugs dipped in chocolate. Many of the insects have a high protein, zinc, calcium and iron content, as well as being low in fat.