In 2016 we acquired 41 businesses, 35 in Pest Control.

Acquisitions & disposals

In line with our strategy we have continued our M&A programme to pursue targets in higher growth markets and in areas which add local density to our existing operations. The Company acquired 41 highly-targeted, city-based businesses in 2016 (35 in Pest Control, five in Hygiene and one in Other) with combined annualised revenues in the 12 months prior to acquisition of £124m for a consideration of £107m. In North America we have continued to reinforce our presence as the number three player in the world’s largest pest control market through the acquisition of 16 Pest Control businesses, including the July acquisition of Residex (more details of which can be found in our Annual Report). In addition, we have acquired businesses in Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Denmark, French Guiana, Germany, Guatemala, Honduras, Hong Kong, Malaysia, New Zealand, Republic of Ireland, Spain, Switzerland, the UK and the US. The integration of all acquisitions is progressing well and Steritech – our largest pest control acquisition to date – exited 2016 with profits at the top end of expectations of c. $30m. In line with our strategy of divesting small, non-core operations, we also disposed of four small operations during the year.