Johnson Service grows after a clean-up


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The Independent Online

Johnson Service has toasted the first sales growth at its dry-cleaning business for years, following a restructuring that saw it exit 100 unprofitable stores in the past 12 months.

This helped the group, which generates the majority of its revenues from the renting of workplace clothing to the food industry, reaffirm its 2012 profits would be line with City expectations.

Its executive chairman John Talbot said: "It is very encouraging to see that our dry-cleaning estate has shown like-for-like growth in sales which, while modest, is the first such increase for a number of years."

The group now has 360 Johnson Cleaners stores, and its biggest operation is Johnsons Apparelmaster.

It estimates net debt at the year end was less than £59m.

Shares in Johnson Service, which also owns the luxury dry-cleaner Jeeves of Belgravia, yesterday rose 1.5p to 38.5p.

Analysts expect the company's pre-tax profits to have grown 5 per cent to £15.8m in the year that ended in December.