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Berendsen PLC (BRSN)

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Thursday 26 April, 2012

Berendsen PLC

Interim Management Statement

RNS Number : 0821C
Berendsen PLC
26 April 2012
 



 

26 April 2012

Berendsen plc

 

Interim Management Statement

 

The Board of Berendsen plc ("the Group'') today issues its interim management statement for the period from 1 January 2012 prior to its Annual General Meeting today at 11.00am.

 

Trading in the first three months of the year was in line with our expectations. Underlying revenue was up 2% compared to the equivalent period last year, unchanged after taking account of the expected impact of adverse currency translation, and we delivered an encouraging improvement in operating margin.  The first quarter saw slightly higher interest costs due to the signing of our new revolving credit facilities in July last year to secure long term funding.  Our reported profit before tax for the quarter was moderately ahead of last year.

 

We are pleased with the progress our new business line teams are making and our focus on sales and growth initiatives is gaining momentum.  In our Core Growth businesses, Workwear continues to make steady progress overall, with some pockets of stronger growth emerging. Facility is seeing good levels of revenue growth and in April 2012 we acquired Decontam, a textile cleanroom business in Germany, with gross assets of £2.3million, which gives us a local operating presence in this segment for the first time.  The UK Flat Linen businesses are delivering in line with expectations, although the first quarter is typically our slowest.  Our Manage for Value businesses have responded well to the challenges of improving margins and generating cash.

 

Our free cash flow was strong, with conversion of our profit after tax to free cash flow at over 100%.  As a result net debt is now below £500million, including a benefit from currency translation.  We have over £800million of bank facilities and private placement notes available to us, the majority of which is committed to 2016 or beyond to support our growth initiatives.

 

We have made a solid start to the current year with trading in line with our expectations and the Board believes that the Group is well positioned to achieve further growth.

 

As advised on 7 December 2011, Iain Ferguson will take up the appointment of Chairman of Berendsen plc following the retirement of Christopher Kemball after the Annual General Meeting today.  We would like to thank Christopher for his excellent stewardship of Berendsen over the past twelve years and wish him well in his retirement. Following the appointment of Iain Ferguson, David Lowden will become Senior Independent Director.

 

For further information contact:

 

Berendsen plc

FTI Consulting

Peter Ventress, Chief Executive

Richard Mountain

Kevin Quinn, Finance Director                

Telephone 020 7269 7291

Telephone 020 7259 6663

 

 

 

Note:

1.             Berendsen plc is a focused European textile maintenance business with leading positions in most of the countries in which it operates.  As a focused business we are able to mobilise our resources to drive our strategies in our core area of expertise.

2.             All financial information sourced from management accounts; operating profit and earnings per share stated before exceptional items and amortisation of customer contracts and intellectual property rights.

3.             Statements made in this announcement that look forward in time or that express management's beliefs, expectations or estimates regarding future occurrences are "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the United States federal securities laws. These forward-looking statements reflect the Group's current expectations concerning future events and actual results may differ materially from current expectations or historical results.


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