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Rentokil Earnings Rise on Demand From Outside Europe

Rentokil Initial Plc, a U.K. services company, reported an increase in profit and revenue for the first half as growth accelerated in the second quarter and business outside Europe picked up.

The company, which offers pest control and hygiene services, posted a 5.2 percent increase in adjusted operating profit to 113 million pounds ($175 million). Sales gained 3.7 percent to 1.2 billion pounds, the company said in a statement.

Business in other regions, particularly China, India and Vietnam had “notably strong performances,” as conditions in Europe remained challenging, the West Sussex, England-based company said. Profit in Asia rose 43.5 percent.

Rentokil has been selling European assets and expanding in Asia to make up for sluggish demand in its home region. The company bought six pest control businesses in Brazil, French Guyana, Portugal, Canada and the U.S. in the first half. At the same time, the disposal of City Link, a loss-making parcel delivery service, resulted in a 39 million-pound one-time loss in the second quarter.

The shares rose as much as 7.9 percent, the biggest intraday increase since April 29. The stock was up 7 percent at to 103.80 pence as of 8:47 a.m., taking the advance to 8.4 percent this year and valuing the company at 1.9 billion pounds.

“We have not seen any green shoots of recovery in continental Europe,” Chief Executive Officer Alan Brown said in a conference call. “Although the economists are more hopeful, on the ground we have not seen that.”

Brown is stepping down as CEO after five years, to be replaced by Andy Ransom, currently regional managing director and executive director, with effect from Oct. 1.

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