UPDATE 1-Johnson Service posts higher profit, buys linen supplier

Mon Mar 3, 2014 2:33am EST

March 3 (Reuters) - Johnson Service Group Plc, which rents and dry cleans uniforms and other textiles, reported a 25 percent rise in full-year profit due to the strong performance of its rental unit.

The British company also said it would buy Bourne Services Group Ltd, a hotel linen supplier, for 22 million pounds ($36.87 million) in cash.

Johnson Service said the acquisition of Lincolnshire-based Bourne Services, which it expects to add to earnings immediately, would be funded partly by an equity placing of 12.8 million pounds.

"This is a significant step in our plan to expand the range of services offered by our textile rental business," Executive Chairman John Talbot said in a statement.

The company, which traces its origins back to 1780, said adjusted pretax profit rose to 13.4 million pounds for the year ended Dec. 31 from 10.7 million pounds a year earlier.

Revenue from continuing operations fell 2.6 percent to 193.6 million pounds.

Shares of Johnson Service Group closed at 52 pence on the London Stock Exchange on Friday.