First half figures show a 2% increase in profit to 41million before tax and one-offs. Revenue rose by 1% to £488.5million. The interim dividend stays at 6.5p per share.

The group incurred restructuring costs of £0.5million following the acquisition of ISS business in Norway. These were largely related to the closure of three plants and associated redundances. It expects a further £1million costs to complete this integration in the second half. In addition the group incurred a further £0.4million in acquisition costs. Amortisation of acquired customer contracts was £11.3m compared with £8.3m last year. Pre-tax profit was down 1% to £28.8m.

Revenue in the Nordic region rose by 4% to £171.9m and adjusted operating profit by 10% to £25.3m.

Sales in the UK and Ireland rose by 1% to £195.6m and profit grew 6% to £17.4m. However on the Continent, revenue fell by 2% to £121m and profit fell to £15.4m.

Chairman Christopher Kemball said the group was particularly pleased that steps to manage costs had improved operating margins and that the business had delivered a strong free cash-flow.

He added that the group had a well-established and well-invested operating platform and that its strategic review shows that it had opportunities to grow and build on its strengths.

For the future, the group’s aims included faster sales’ growth, consolidation of market leading positions andimproved returns through greater capital efficiency