Thursday 27 February 2020 9:18 am

Rentokil extends buying spree after record revenue growth

Rentokil posted its highest level of revenue growth in fifteen years in 2019 as the pest control service continued its expansion around the world.

Read more: Rentokil buyout of Mitie pest control business given green light by regulator

The figures

The Camberley-based ratcatchers posted full year organic revenue growth of 4.5 per cent, reaching £2.7bn in 2019.

Profit before tax recorded double-digit growth, increasing to £340.9m, up 10.7 per cent on the year before.

Rentokil’s net debt narrowed to £1.1bn over the year, down from £1.2bn in 2018.

Earnings per share also increased over 10 per cent in 2019, up to 14.4p. The firm posted a dividend of 5.15p.

Why it’s interesting

Rentokil embarked on something of a buying spree in 2019, acquiring 41 businesses over the course of the year, with combined revenues of £137m.

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Of these, 14 were in North America, the business’ biggest market, including Florida Pest Control, which is worth £50m in yearly revenues.

The firm said it would continue to target further acquisitions in 2020, anticipating a total spend of around £250m.

What Rentokil said

Andy Ransom, Rentokil’s chief executive, said: “The company performed strongly in 2019 with a combination of above-target Organic growth and disciplined execution of M&A. 

“Organic growth was driven by our increasing presence in growth markets, higher levels of customer retention and a strong innovation programme. In particular, our employer of choice programme continues to deliver outstanding results with increased levels of safety, training, motivation and retention of our colleagues.

Read more: Rentokil profit increase boosts shares

“Looking forward into the new decade, key demographic trends such as urbanisation will enlarge our global pest control and hygiene markets, while we continue to focus on the relentless execution of our plan.  We are confident of delivering further operational and financial progress in 2020.”