Rentokil slide continues

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Shares in Rentokil Initial are set to dip further this week after the rat-catcher to parcel-delivery group issued its fourth profit warning since December.

Alan Brown, the new chief executive brought in from ICI to rescue the company, said full-year pre-tax profits could be £35m lower than forecast. But analysts at Panmure Gordon slashed this year's forecast by as much as £45m to £100m.

Mr Brown also said that the company, which employs 77,000 people around the world, was in such a state that he did not even know how much it was owed by customers. Shares fell by a third to 70p. Jobs may have to be cut.

The main problems are at City Link, the parcel-delivery service which merged with Target Express. But Rentokil says the UK washroom business is now suffering badly from unpaid debts and the loss of customers.

The previous chief, Doug Flynn, was ousted in March but collected compensation of £1.2m.