LONDON Feb 6 Compass Group, the world's
biggest catering firm, posted a 4 percent rise in first-quarter
revenue and said it was upbeat on its prospects for the full
In its main North American market, where Compass makes
almost 50 percent of its revenue, the firm said it had won good
levels of new and retained business and, despite a slowdown in
the Australian mining sector, revenue growth remained strong in
its Fast Growing and Emerging markets arm.
Tough conditions in Europe, where Compass has cut costs and
exited contracts to support profits, led to a continued revenue
decline in its Europe and Japan division, although the group
said it had begun to see signs of stabilisation.
The overall rise of 4 percent in organic revenue, which
strips out the impact of acquisitions, was in line with analyst
forecasts of 3 to 4 percent.
During its first quarter, the British pound continued to
strengthen against many of Compass's key currencies, such as the
U.S. dollar, euro, yen, Australian dollar and Brazilian real.
The firm said that, if current spot rates were to continue
through 2014, it would expect a negative currency impact of 5.4
percent, or 942 million pounds, on 2013 reported revenue and 5.7
percent, or 72 million pounds, on 2013 underlying profit.
Compass, which employs more than 500,000 people to feed
office workers, soldiers and schoolchildren in over 50
countries, said that notwithstanding the currency translation
impact, its full-year expectations remained positive and
"The pipeline of new contracts is encouraging and our focus
on efficiencies gives us confidence in another year of
delivery," Compass said in a statement.
Last month, catering rival Sodexo reaffirmed its
full-year forecasts as new contracts offset the depressing
effect of currencies in Latin America and weak demand in Europe.