UPDATE 1-U.S., emerging market contracts boost Compass
* Q3 organic revenue up 5.7 pct
* U.S, emerging market units drive growth
* FY expectations remain positive and unchanged
LONDON, July 26 (Reuters) - Compass Group, the world's biggest caterer, posted a 5.7 percent rise in third quarter organic revenue, helped by new contracts outside the tough European business environment, and said its expectations for the full year were positive.
The group, which provides meals for office workers, soldiers and school children around the world, said on Thursday that business in its core North American market was particularly strong thanks to growing outsourcing trends.
Growth flagged in recession-hit Europe, though, with southern Europe particularly tough. Revenue for the Europe and Japan region fell 0.9 percent in the quarter, with Japan partly mitigating the weak Europe performance.
Emerging markets were much stronger, with revenues growing 12.2 percent.
The North American and emerging markets businesses account for two thirds of the group's revenue.
"We expect to see continued good performances in these regions and the pipeline looks encouraging," the company said in a statement.
"However, the challenging economic conditions in Europe will continue to put pressure on like for like volume and we are working hard to identify more efficiencies to manage this," it said.
Shares in the group, which serves 4 billion meals a year in over 50 countries, closed at 652.5 pence on Wednesday, valuing the business at around 12.2 billion pounds ($18.88 billion).
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