Compass Group

Compass Group sales rose 4.3% to £17.6bn

Compass Group has reported an 8.6% drop in full-year pre-tax profits to £721m after taking a £436m exceptional items hit.

The catering giant said it had taken a goodwill impairment charge of £377m relating to its UK business, as well as an extra £59m in exceptional items to improve its operations in the UK. Compass described its progress in the UK in the year to 30 September as “steady”.

Group turnover rose 4.3% to £17.6bn during the period.

In Europe, sales fell 3% to £6bn, but rose 8% to £8.2bn in North America and by 10.2% to £3.4bn in its Fast Growing & Emerging division, buoyed by new business wins.

“Compass has maintained good momentum during the year. High levels of new contract wins in North America and Fast Growing & Emerging have driven good organic revenue growth of over 4% and our operating margin has increased by 20 basis points to over 7% for the first time,” said group CEO Richard Cousins.

“Economic conditions in Europe & Japan remain challenging but the actions we’ve taken have enabled us to manage these and improve profit and margins. Looking ahead, I remain positive about the exciting structural growth opportunities in all of our markets and the potential for further progress,” he added.