Strong margins boost laundry firm Berendsen's profit

Fri Aug 29, 2014 2:26am EDT

Aug 29 (Reuters) - Commercial laundry company Berendsen Plc reported an 8 percent rise in first-half profit, helped by an increase in operating margins at two of its core Workwear and Facility brands.

The company, which also rents textile products such as linen and uniforms, said pretax profit rose to 50.6 million pounds ($83.90 million) in the six months ended June 30, from 46.7 million pounds a year earlier.

A strong pound and weakness in the European currencies Berendsen trades in dragged revenue down 1 percent to 517.3 million pounds. Excluding the impact of currency fluctuations, revenue grew 3 percent. ($1 = 0.6031 British Pounds) (Reporting by Esha Vaish in Bangalore; Editing by Feroze Jamal)