Laundry and clothing services firm Davis Service Group Plc said on Friday it expected first half trading conditions to continue into the second half as it posted a 28 percent rise in half year pretax profit.

Davis Service, which hires out work overalls and provides laundry services for hospitals, hotels and restaurants, said pretax profit for the six months to end June was 39.9 million pounds.

The group said Europe had seen further operating margin growth, and encouraging new contract wins, while a fall in UK margin was likely to be offset in the second half by acquisitions.

With the positive momentum we saw in Continental Europe in the first half we remain confident in our outlook for the business for the remainder of the year, Davis Service said in a statement.

Shares in Davis Service, which have underperformed the UK support service sector by 7 percent over the last 12 months, closed at 475 pence on Thursday, valuing the group at around 807 million pounds.

The group said it would pay an interim dividend of 5.8 pence per share, up 5 percent from the year before.