13th May 2009 - 00:00
The world's largest catering company, Compass Group has today posted first-half pre-tax profits up 38% to Â£387 million.
The company said in a statement that the extensive re-structuring of its UK arm over the past two years has enabled it to "significantly improve the efficiency of operations". In the Business & Industry sector, Compass said like for like volumes are being impacted by lower levels of corporate catering and hospitality spend and reduced headcounts. Adding: "We also experienced extended Christmas and New Year closures and also lost revenues due to the bad weather in February. Whilst we have seen some additional site closures as the economy has slowed, we continue to win high quality new business, increasingly with additional support services." National Grid plc is one example cited where Compass has extended its foodservice contract at 12 sites to now provide a range of support services in over 500 locations. Compass said good progress is being made in the education sector and profitability has improved for its healthcare contracts. "The recent acquisition of a number of McColl's food and retail outlets is adding a new dimension to this exciting sector of the market. The Jockey Club is a further example of where we have been able to extend our existing relationship with a client. In this landmark deal we have moved from the delivery of foodservices at four racecourses to all 14 racecourses operated by the Jockey Club. New contracts such as the Aviva Stadium in Ireland (formerly Lansdowne Road) and several other new stadium contracts reinforce our leading position in the Sports & Leisure sector," said the contract catering firm.