The Jamie Oliver effect wiped a third off catering profits at Rentokil Initial in the second half of 2006 as school meal uptake continued to fall.
Although Rentokil did not release a full breakdown of the figures, operating profit at its Eden (education) and Autograph (business and industry) operations fell by 33% on the back of flat turnover.
An Eden spokesman said: "The education market continues to be a challenging one. Eden continues to consolidate, only taking on contracts where we can provide high-quality freshly-prepared meals."
He added that growth in the business and industry Autograph operation had compensated for the downturn in Eden's fortunes.
In the six months to 30 June, operating profit at the facilities services division, which also includes its cleaning business, fell by 10.7% to £15m on the back of a 12% rise in turnover to £254.2m.
Overall figures at Rentokil Initial, which include its pest control and washroom services businesses, saw second half turnover growth of 10.5% to £1b as pre-tax profit fell by 6.7% to £112.1m.
By Tom Bill