Compass gives back £1bn to shareholders

COMPASS, the world’s biggest catering firm, announced yesterday that it would return £1bn to shareholders through a special dividend, after strong business gains in North America helped push first-half profits up 5.7 per cent.

The UK company said that adjusted pre-tax profit for the six months to 31 March rose to £608m.

On top of the £1bn payout, which took returns to shareholders since 2006 to £6bn, Compass also raised its interim dividend by 10 per cent to 8.8p per share.

Chief executive Richard Cousins said its full-year expectations remained unchanged and that he was “positive about the opportunities for further revenue and margin progression”.