The economic crisis in southern Europe took the shine off Compass Group’s trading update on Thursday. The caterer reported slightly better than expected full-year sales growth of 5.5%.

“This strong performance continues to be driven by North America and the emerging markets, with organic growth up 8% and 12% respectively,” said Shore Capital analyst Karl Burns.

However, the shares were hit by news that the company would be exiting £200m worth of business in southern Europe, where volumes have been falling. Compass said that by scaling back operations in the region and shifting to more profitable contracts it expected to generate exceptional cash costs of £150m over two years.

Shares fell by 2%, on a buoyant morning for the FTSE, to 698p. It was a rare slip for Compass shares, which have gained 24% over the past year, boosted by good growth outside Europe and increased dividend payments in May.

It was a more encouraging Thursday morning for Tate & Lyle. Shares rose 2% to 668p after the sweetener and starch giant said the performance of its speciality food ingredients division, which accounts for 60% of profits, had improved over the past three months.

“This reads as an upbeat statement. The key positive for us is that the performance of speciality food ingredients accelerated in the second quarter,” said Investec analyst Martin Deboo.

On Monday, Irn-Bru maker AG Barr reported a mixed set of interim results ahead of a final decision on the proposed merger with Britvic. Despite the wet summer weather, sales increased by 5% to £130m in the six months to the end of July.

However, rising commodity costs and lower margin sales through supermarkets pushed pre-tax profits down 8% to £14.9m. The shares rose 2% to 459.9p.

Also on Monday, Dairy Crest increased its farmgate milk price and said it was on track to meet its full-year profits forecast for the year to the end of March. The shares edged up a fraction, to 330p.

Finsbury Foods shares were almost unchanged at 34p at close on Monday after it reported adjusted profits before tax had risen by 11.6% to £6.5m in the year to 30 June. The baker had grown sales by 9.4% to £207.4m, topping the £200m mark for the first time.