We have a fixed regional structure based upon five strong regions.

Regional performance

In the North America region revenue grew 16.8% for the full year, driven by organic revenue growth (+2.7%) and the continuing acquisition programme (+14.1%) including the acquisition of Steritech in Q4.  Organic revenue growth from Pest Control was 3.0%. Strong profit growth of 28.6% was driven by acquisitions, the leverage impact from higher revenues, further margin improvement from back office and property rationalisation and lower fuel prices. This has improved net operating margins by 1.2%. As noted above, the integration of the Steritech business is proceeding well. We expect further margin improvement in 2016 as the business builds scale and density.

In the Europe region ongoing revenue rose 0.1% in 2015 (organic revenue decline of 0.7%). Good revenue growth in Germany (+3.2%), Southern Europe (+5.3%) and Latin America (which is managed out of the European Region and which grew by 33.5%) was offset by declines in France (-3.4%) and Benelux (-1.1%). Profit declined by 4.6% primarily driven by the revenue reduction and margin pressure in France.  

Our German and Southern European businesses are experiencing relatively positive trading conditions and are expected to continue to make good progress. However, the outlook in France and Benelux is more difficult with these countries continuing to face challenging economic conditions and very competitive market conditions - France in particular.  We see opportunities to support margins through the quality initiative in the Workwear business, service and distribution productivity and continued cost discipline. While we expect trading conditions in Europe to remain difficult, based on the actions that we are proactively taking to improve performance, we expect the level of profit decline in the region to be considerably lower in 2016 than in 2015.

In the UK & Rest of World region ongoing revenue rose by 11.5% in 2015, reflecting organic growth of 4.2% and acquisition growth of 7.3%, largely from the Peter Cox acquisition made at the end of 2014. The region delivered continued growth from the UK Pest Control and Hygiene businesses, with Pest Control benefitting from increased jobbing work in particular. The Rest of World operations delivered good revenue growth driven by the Caribbean and South Africa. Ongoing profit in the region grew by 12.5%, reflecting higher revenues and the Peter Cox acquisition.

The Asia region had another strong year with ongoing revenue increasing by 11.3% (+8.6% organic) with both the Pest Control and Hygiene businesses performing well. Our operations in the less established markets of India, China and Vietnam continue to deliver strong growth (26.0%).  High single-digit revenue increases were delivered in the more developed markets of Indonesia and Malaysia.  Profit in the region grew by 27.5% in 2015, reflecting leverage from higher revenues and service productivity, with margins higher by 1.2% points on the prior year.      

In the Pacific region revenue grew by 4.3% in 2015 (+3.5% organic), reflecting increased contracts in the Pest Control and Hygiene businesses and more jobbing work in Pest Control. Profit in the region grew by 7.3%, reflecting higher revenues and also supported by continuing tight cost control.