Wednesday 31 July 2019 9:57 am

Rentokil profit increase boosts shares

Pest control and property care firm Rentokil’s shares have risen 4.5 per cent this morning after it posted a 12.4 per cent rise in profit in the first half of the year.

Read more: Rentokil set to continue acquisition spree

The figures

The firm’s revenue grew by 8.5 per cent to £1.3bn in the first half of 2019 compared to a year earlier, its results showed today.

Its free cash flow rose to £95.9m from £22.9m in the first half of 2018.

Rentokil’s closing net debt rose to £1.4bn from £1.1bn a year earlier.

The rise in profit took the basic earnings per share to 4.75p from 4.69p previously.

The company’s interim dividend grew by 15.2 per cent to 1.51p.

Why it’s interesting

Rentokil said it is trading in line with expectations. It said with various charges and windfalls taken into account its expectations for 2019 remain unchanged and expectations for 2020 increase by around £10m.

Yet it said the share of profits from associates in the second half is expected to be around £7m lower than the prior year after the disposal of the Company’s interest in the JV with Haniel.

What Rentokil said

Chief executive Andy Ransom said: “The business has performed very well in the first six months with strong organic growth of 4.2 per cent, driven by the expertise of our people, our continued leadership in technology and innovation, and further execution of high quality acquisitions in growth and emerging markets.”

“We have made 17 acquisitions in Pest Control and Hygiene – including a top-40 pest control business in the US and new market entries into Jordan and Sri Lanka.”

Read more: Competition watchdog expresses concern over Rentokil and Mitie merger

“We are also delighted with the sale of our stake in the JV with Haniel, the proceeds from which we will use initially to reduce debt and then redeploy into further M&A to build scale and density.”