* Q1 organic revenue growth of nearly 6 pct
* FY expectations remain positive and unchanged
* LfL revenue positive in N.America, emerging markets,
negative in Europe
* Chairman Roy Gardner to retire
LONDON, Feb 7 Compass Group, the world's
biggest catering firm, posted a six percent rise in
first-quarter organic revenue, as contract wins in North America
and emerging markets helped temper tougher conditions in Europe.
The firm, which operates in over 50 countries and serves 4
billion meals a year, said its large Ascension Health
multi-service contract in its core North American market had
contributed over 1 percent of global sales in the period, while
levels of new business wins in the region was also healthy.
Like for like revenue was positive in North America - a
business worth almost half of group revenue - as well as in
emerging markets, where Australia, Turkey and Latin America were
strong. In Europe, where it has reduced its southern operations
and is cutting costs, underlying revenue was negative.
Compass, which provides catering to everyone from schools
and hospitals to offshore rigs and the tennis at Wimbledon, also
announced on Thursday that its chairman Roy Gardner is to retire
and that it would now search for a replacement.
The group reaffirmed its expectations for the full-year.
Last month French rival Sodexo posted a 7.4
percent rise in first-quarter revenue to 4.95 billion euros
($6.7 billion), driven by emerging markets growth.
Shares in FTSE 100-listed Compass, which in November posted
a 9 percent rise in underlying operating profit to just under
1.2 billion pounds for its last full-year, closed at 765.5 pence
on Wednesday, valuing the business at around 14 billion pounds