Since 1982, when Clive Thompson took over as chief executive, Rentokil's peers have had much to admire - a clear strategy, a strong brand and an unerring ability to meet highly ambitious targets.
The statement in Rentokil's annual report is unambiguous. Its aim 'is to provide for its shareholders growth of at least 20% per annum in profits and earnings per share'.
Ever since Clive Thompson took over as chief executive in 1982 its aim has been true - profits have increased by an annual average of 22% and earnings per share by an equally vertiginous 24% (see graph).
In that time Rentokil has evolved from a £100 million pest-control company into a £2.2 billion broadly based service business with operations in over 40 countries. Its approach is straightforward; focus on a small number of related activities - from security to office maintenance - in a large number of markets and build a presence through growth and organic acquisition. In doing so, Rentokil has become that rarity - a high-growth company that has kept on growing.