Full interim results will be announced in September, but in a pre-close statement the board says it remains confident of a satisfactory outcome at year end and the changing seasonality of the business means profits will be biased towards the second half.

For the first half, textile rental remains unchanged, although results in the workwear sector are encouraging and both revenue and volume show small year-on-year growth.

Revenue in linen and hospitality continues to grow.

Corporate wear showed a strong results with recent acquisitions living up to, or exceeding, expectations.

Facilities management and specialist supplies are also doing well.

The drycleaning division continues to be affected by lower consumer spending in retail. The first three months showed little improvement but cost reductions have boosted the division’s operating margin and the Group will take further action if necessary.