Compass sales point upwards

City A.M. Reporter

ref="">COMPASS Group, the world’s biggest caterer, said full-year sales should rise, with strong growth in emerging markets and North America likely to offset a sluggish performance in Europe.

The company, which provides meals for office workers, members of the armed forces and schoolchildren across the world, said revenues for the year to October would rise nine per cent, also helped by new business wins, acquisitions and cost cutting.

“Strong organic revenue growth has been driven by good levels of new business wins across the group and an improvement in the underlying rate of retention,” it said.

“The strong performance in the year is despite the impact of the tragic events in Japan [earthquake], rising food costs and economic weakness in some of our markets.”

Compass said its underlying operating profit margin would likely grow around 20 basis points, excluding the hit to margins from the Japanese earthquake in March.

The group, which serves around four billion meals each year in over 50 countries, said sales in Britain, Ireland and elsewhere in Europe would be flat, hit by tough economic conditions.

Organic revenue growth, excluding acquisitions, rose four per cent in its fourth quarter, Compass added.