Rentokil Initial has reported an upturn in its catering business for the first quarter of 2006.
The company said the rise in revenue was "due to new contract gains and an increase in trading days compared with the first quarter of last year".
Although no breakdown of results was provided for the catering arm, revenue at its overall facilities services division rose by 3.9% to £8m over the three months.
Operating profit in the catering segment was also up, thanks to "higher revenue and margin improvement in the business and industry segment."
Meanwhile the umbrella facilities services division saw operating profit fall by 6.5% to £2.9m.
A Rentokil spokeswoman said the company's business and industry brand, Autograph, would play an increasingly important role in the future growth of its catering operations.
She added that its education arm, the re-branded Eden, would seek to consolidate its market position. The news comes as Eden refused to re-bid for school meals contracts at 405 Kent schools because they were not financially viable.
Peter Taylor, managing director of Autograph, said: "The work we put in at the back end of 2005 is starting to pay off. I am confident we have the right team in place to leverage our strategy and achieve business growth."
By Tom Bill
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