Hot summer is rat catchers’ delight: Heatwave helps boost profits at Rentokil to £308m
Rentokil saw a surge in callouts for flies, wasps and rats, helping lift sales in the second half of 2018
A summer heatwave helped boost profits at Rentokil to £308million amid strong demand for rat-catchers.
The pest control business saw a surge in callouts for flies, wasps and rats, helping to lift sales in the second half of 2018.
Its profits rose 8.8 per cent over the period, sending shares in the FTSE 100 firm surging 6.7 per cent, or 22p, to 351p yesterday.
Rentokil also said chairman John McAdam will retire in May after more than ten years at the firm, to be replaced by former Intercontinental Hotels boss Richard Solomons.
Chief executive Andy Ransom said 2018 had been a ‘very good year’, adding: ‘We are confident of delivering further progress in 2019 and anticipate a slight increase in market expectations.’
The firm said wasp callouts doubled across the UK and Europe last year, while fly-control requests surged by nearly a third. Rat-catching went up 14 per cent across Britain.
There was strong demand for its new Lumnia fly killers, which it claims are the first to use LEDs to attract the insects. It has sold more than 60,000.
Total sales at the group rose 13.2 per cent to £2.5billion in 2018. It was a record year for takeovers too, with the firm signing 42 deals.
With these takeovers stripped out, revenues rose 3.7 per cent.
But its Cannon Hygiene merger in the UK has proved troublesome with the competition watchdog. Rentokil was told last month to sell several supply contracts to ease the concerns.