PARIS, April 17 (Reuters) - French catering, facilities management and vouchers group Sodexo kept its full-year goals on Thursday after operating profit rose 11.4 in the first half, helped by cost cuts and new contracts in the United States.
The world’s second-biggest catering services company after Britain’s Compass Group said operating income excluding restructuring costs and currency effects in the six months to Feb. 28 rose to 559 million euros ($772 million).
The group reiterated its forecast for a 2.5 to 3 percent rise in like-for-like full-year 2013/14 sales after revenue grew 2.4 percent like-for-like in the first half to 9.283 billion euros.
It also kept its forecast for 2013/14 operating profit growth of 11 percent at constant exchange rates and for its operating margin to rise because of cost savings to 5.6 percent from 5.2 percent last year. For fiscal year 2014/15, Sodexo also expects an operating profit margin of 6 percent. ($1 = 0.7243 Euros) (Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by James Regan)