There was a flurry of selling activity at workwear and hotel linen cleaner Berendsen (BRSN) as chief executive Peter Ventress sold 47,218 shares at 774p, David Lawler, company secretary, offloaded 17,042 shares at 774p, and three weeks earlier Peter Haveus, managing director of workwear, sold 50,000 shares at 770p.
This doesn't look like management exiting at the top, though, more a result of the 2009 management share incentive scheme vesting on 15 April. In the most recent trading update, growth in the core business was up 3 per cent and management said operating margins had continued to improve, with a 10-year high of 14.8 per cent reported in the full-year results.
Cash-flow generation remained strong, with trading in line with expectations, management said. Broker Investec expects adjusted pre-tax profits of £132m, giving EPS of 56.6p, for the year ahead. And with shares at 767p on a reasonable PE ratio of 13.5 times, we retain our recommendation. Buy.