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UK's Rentokil 1H profit falls 82 percent

UK's Rentokil 1H profit falls 82 percent

British services company Rentokil Initial PLC posted an 82 percent drop in first-half profit Friday, and said it could take as long as five years to recover to its target levels of profitability.
Net profit at Rentokil _ whose businesses include pest-control, washroom operation, courier services and plant hire _ plummeted to just 11.9 million pounds (US$22.2 million) in the year to June 30, down from 65.5 million pounds in the first six months of 2007.
Revenue for the first-half remained relatively flat at 1.2 billion pounds (US$2.2 billion), up slightly from 1.1 billion pounds a year earlier.
The company, founded in the 1920s to sell rat poison, has had a tough year. It was forced to cut its profit forecast four times since December, resulting in its stock price halving over the same period. Both the chief executive and chairman lost their jobs in March.
Rentokil's parcel delivery unit, City Link, suffered a loss of 28 million pounds in the first six months of the year, which the company said it is trying to turn around by improving customer service and increasing productivity.
The loss wiped out moderate improvement in some of Rentokil's other businesses, including the pest control division, where operating profit increased by 3 percent.
"We have room for improvement almost everywhere," chief executive Alan Brown acknowledged in a statement.
Shares fell by as much as 12 percent in early trading on the London Stock Exchange, but had recovered somewhat by midmorning to 70 pence (US$1.31) _ a 5 percent fall.


Updated : 2021-07-28 23:22 GMT+08:00