Sodexo sees 3 billion euro shortfall in second-half as coronavirus remains strong

FILE PHOTO: The logo of French food services and facilities management group Sodexo is seen at the company headquarters in Issy-les-Moulineaux near Paris, France, November 30, 2018. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

(Reuters) - French catering and food services group Sodexo EXHO.PA on Tuesday said they expected fourth-quarter and half-year sales to fall harder than previously expected as the coronavirus pandemic stays strong in North America, Latin America and India.

The group, which provides catering for businesses, industrial sites, the military, government agencies, hospitals, schools and sports events, said they now expect sales for the fourth quarter ending on Aug. 31 to fall 27%, with a 28% slump of around 3 billion euros (£2.72 billion) in the second half of its fiscal year.

The Paris-based firm had forecast in April a 15% slump in its fourth quarter and a 25% fall for its second half.

Sodexo’s third quarter, however, served better-than-expected sales, down 29.9% versus an anticipated 33% fall, with its education and sports and leisure businesses the hardest-hit.

Reporting by Sarah Morland in Gdansk; Editing by Tom Hogue