Strong M&A activity powers advance at Penna

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The group also announced on Tuesday, the appointment of Michael Jolly as chief executive.

He was an executive chairman of the Tussaud's group, which includes London's waxworks museum.

He will replace Suzie Mumme who will become chairman, following the retirement of Sir Andrew Hugh Smith at next week's annual meeting.

The shares, which have outperformed the support services sector by about 10% over the past year, rose 16p to 538.5p.

Mumme said the group was benefiting from the need to manage change at companies affected by mergers and acquisitions.