Pest control and hygiene specialist Rentokil Initial said its pre-tax profit grew 6 per cent in the first quarter as it continued a brisk pace of acquisitions in emerging markets.
Organic growth and cost measures also helped as profits hit £19.3 million in the three months to March.
The group bought ten pest control businesses during the period, concentrating on markets such as Turkey, East Africa and Latin America and expects them to add £22.4m to sales by the end of the full year. The group also acquired small pest control businesses in Ireland, Italy and Spain.
Chief executive Andy Ransom said: “Profit growth in the quarter reflects the benefit of more effective businesses and reducing overheads, as well as lower restructuring and one-off costs, and we are on track to deliver a significant increase in free cash flow in 2014.
“We remain confident in making further progress in the remainder of the year.”