Shares in Ftse 100 food services business Compass jumped more than 4 per cent this morning to near an all-time high after a strong trading update.
Compass said its organic revenue in the three months to 31 December grew 6.9 per cent which it said was driven by new business wins, good retention rates, a new UK defence contract and a positive sporting events calendar.
Organic revenue in the US increased eight per cent, with Europe revenue up 6.4 per cent.
Currency fluctuations also worked in the company's favour and Compass said if the current spot rate were to continue for the rest of the year, it would boost revenue by £508m and operating profit by £43m.
Compass said it had “an excellent start to the year” and said it expects to be above the middle of its target four to six per cent organic growth range for the full year.
Steve Clayton of Hargreaves Lansdown said: “Compass are doing what they do best, grinding out market share gains and squeezing a bit of extra margin from an efficiency drive, at a time when many others will be struggling to hold margins flat. With the bulk of the global contract catering market still undertaken in-house, Compass’s outsourcing service offer still has plenty of scope to grow for years to come.”
Graham Spooner, investment research analyst at the Share Centre, said: “Investors might conclude that despite a number of global concerns the world’s leading food service company appears to be benefitting from the fact that we will always have to eat.”
Its share price rose to 1,768p this morning.