[View Point] The Horse Race Continues...

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“It’s A Horse Race! Orkin’s purchase of Western Pest Services closes the gap on Terminix.”

May 31, 2012
Jodi Dorsch

“It’s A Horse Race! Orkin’s purchase of Western Pest Services closes the gap on Terminix.”

So read the April 2004 cover of PCT magazine (below).

And then, in May 2008, when PCT reported that Rollins had purchased HomeTeam Pest Defense (at that time the fifth largest pest management firm in the country), we ran the headline “Orkin Escalates: Orkin closes in on Terminix for lead position in PCT’s Top 100.”

We’ve been talking about it for years so it’s no surprise to many in the industry that Rollins reported revenues slightly higher than Terminix International for the year 2011 ($12 million higher, to be exact). After 10 years of being the largest company on the PCT Top 100, Terminix International is now in second place. So what’s next for Terminix?

PCT Publisher Dan Moreland traveled to Memphis recently to interview the firm’s new president, Chuck Fallon, to discuss his plans for the billion-dollar firm. Fallon is a former investment banker who most recently served as president of Burger King North America, where he oversaw 12,000 restaurants globally. “The challenge is to take that foundation we’ve built as a company and create a new growth trajectory for the business that is greater than the market overall,” Fallon said.

ServiceMaster released its first quarter financial results on May 10 (after this issue went to press) so we don’t yet know where the firm is headed after Q1. However, Rollins released its first quarter numbers on April 25.

In reporting its financials, Gary W. Rollins, Rollins president and CEO, said, “Our successful marketing and sales programs, along with a nice assist from the unseasonably warm winter, made significant contributions to our record first quarter results. Rollins will continue to focus on the strengths of our leading pest control brands, and our 2012 plans directed to grow our business, improve earnings and generate a strong cash flow.” Rollins recorded first quarter revenues of $289.5 million, an increase of 6.6 percent over the prior year’s first quarter revenues of $271.6 million.

It should be noted that while Rollins reported higher revenues, Terminix remains the industry’s largest brand. There are four Terminix franchises on the PCT Top 100 List (Terminix Service, Terminix Co. of North Carolina, Bruce Terminix and Terminix Service) and when the revenues of Terminix International are combined with those of its franchises, the Terminix “brand” has revenues $168 million more than Rollins. Those four businesses are run separately from Terminix International and as such, they have been reported separately for each of PCT’s 11 Top 100 lists.

A couple of notes about this year’s coverage of the PCT Top 100:

  • Since most of PCT’s readers are not members of the PCT Top 100, we’ve included articles that can be applicable to all companies. Just because you’re not on the list doesn’t mean there’s not valuable content in this issue. (One place to start: Companies of ANY size can implement the Net Promoter score program featured on page 55.)
  • For the first time, the smallest company on the list has revenues of more than $5 million. For reference, the first year we ran this list (reflecting 2000 revenues), the smallest company was $2.6 million.
  • PCT made every effort to contact companies that should be on this list. If a company declined to supply PCT with its revenues, we estimated them from a variety of sources. If your firm should (or you know of a firm that should) be listed, please let me know.
  • PCT will feature additional coverage in our June issue since this May issue wasn’t big enough to hold it all!
  • Several authors wrote articles for our Top 100 coverage. Anne Nagro is a monthly contributor to PCT. Dan Gordon owns an accounting firm that caters to PCOs throughout the United States (www.pcobookkeepers.com). Donna DeFranco is a freelance writer who frequently covers the pest management industry. Jeff Fenner is a partner with B Communications (www.b-communications.com).


The author is editor of PCT magazine.