Compass launches 500 mln stg share buyback

LONDON Wed Nov 27, 2013 2:14am EST

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LONDON Nov 27 (Reuters) - Compass Group, the world's biggest catering company, launched a 500 million pound ($809 million) share buyback on Wednesday, its third in as many years.

The British firm, which employs more than 500,000 people to feed officer workers, soldiers and school children, also reported underlying pre-tax profit up 9 percent to 1.2 billion pounds in 2013, slightly ahead of analyst expectations.

Revenue in 2013 rose 4.3 percent to 17.6 billion pounds.

Compass also increased its dividend by 12.7 percent on a year earlier to 24 pence.