* Q1 revenue rises 7.4 pct to 4.95 bln euros
* Q1 organic growth 2.1 pct
* Keeps goals for full-year revenue/profit growth
(Adds detail, background)
PARIS, Jan 9 French catering and vouchers group
Sodexo posted a 7.4 percent rise in quarterly revenue,
driven by growing demand for its services in emerging markets.
Sales reached 4.95 billion euros ($6.5 billion) in the three
months to November, its first quarter, Sodexo said on Wednesday.
Like-for-like growth was 2.1 percent, including an 8.6 percent
rise in countries outside Europe and North America.
The world's second-biggest catering services company after
British group Compass reiterated its forecast for
"modest growth" in full-year revenue and operating profit
excluding currency effects.
"We are confident in our ability to seize growth
opportunities in our markets, even if in the short term Sodexo's
organic growth is likely to be modest given the current economic
environment, particularly in Europe," chief executive Michel
Sodexo, with a 420,000-strong global workforce, manages
canteens and facilities for office workers, armed forces,
schools and prisons, and sells vouchers for meals and gifts.
As the European economic climate weighs on profitability,
Sodexo has been expanding in emerging markets, which now
represent a fifth of sales, and estimates the global market for
its services at 800 billion euros.
It unveiled a plan in November to lower costs and cut jobs
to help meet its goals of a 6.3 percent operating margin by the
end of 2014/15, compared with 5.4 percent for 2011/12, and
average annual revenue growth of 7 percent.
Sodexo is targeting savings of 130-150 million euros from
(Reporting by James Regan; Editing by Dan Lalor)