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March 4, 2021, 2:42 a.m. EST

Rentokil resumes dividend despite profit decline

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By Matteo Castia

Rentokil Initial PLC reported Thursday a fall in pretax profit for 2020 on higher costs and missed cash inflow, but resumed its dividend.

The FTSE 100 pest-control company made a pretax profit of 229.8 million pounds ($320.5 million) for the year compared with GBP338.5 million for 2019, when it benefited from GBP103.8 million of net gain on disposals.

Revenue rose to GBP2.82 billion from GBP2.71 billion a year earlier and beat market forecasts of GBP2.81 billion, but finance costs also rose.

The company said it has beat its $1.50 billion revenue target from its North American market. Revenue from North America came in at $1.59 billion.

Rentokil said the hygiene division continued to perform strongly on the back of continued demand due to the coronavirus pandemic, with overall growth of 37% on year. The company said it expects the unit to continue to progress this year as the pandemic continues. Revenue from disinfection services came in at GBP225.1 million.

The board declared a final dividend of 5.41 pence after no interim dividend was declared for the first half in an effort to preserve liquidity amid the pandemic. The dividend for 2019 was 5.15 pence.

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