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Compass Group sees pandemic recovery with strong half-year results

The contract catering and foodservice company saw half-year revenues return to pre-Covid levels, with the gradual return of staff to workplaces contributing to steady sales growth 

Compass Group offices in Mississauga, Canada | Photo credit: via Shutterstock



Compass Group has emerged from the pandemic in a strong position, posting half-year revenue growth of 37.9%, or £3.2bn ($3.96bn), for the six months ended 31 March 2022.

The UK-based multinational contract foodservice company stated that the majority of its business divisions, which include Sports & Leisure, Defence, Healthcare & Senior Living and Education, are now trading above pre-pandemic levels. However, Compass' Business & Industry arm, which provides contract catering services, remains at 83% of pre-pandemic levels but improving on 2021 levels.

The gradual return of staff to workplaces around the world had, however, contributed to the improved performance of its catering business, with second quarter results climbing 15% on 2021’s fourth quarter. 

The company’s Rest of World region reported revenues at 90% of 2019 levels, reflecting ongoing localised lockdowns, especially in Japan which is weighted to Business & Industry clients.
 
Given the gradual improvements in food services, Compass Group emphasised that it is exiting the pandemic as a stronger business, ‘accelerating new digital and culinary initiatives and adopting a more agile operating model’.

As a result, financial year 2022 organic revenue guidance has been raised from 20–25% to around 30%. The group aslo reported new business wins of £2.5bn ($3.09bn) during the last 12 months, with broad based growth across all regions.
 
“We have seen a notable improvement in Business & Industry and Education as employees return to the office and students to in-person learning. Net new business growth has been excellent, particularly in North America and Europe, where we have mobilised a significant number of recent wins and benefited from our highest ever client retention rate,” said Dominic Blackmore, CEO, Compass Group.
 
Compass Group North America purchased Houston-based FreshBrew Group’s food and beverage vending division for an undisclosed sum in April 2022. 
 
North America is a vital market Compass Group, where more than 60% of its revenues are generated. Compass Group North America posted revenues of £11.2bn in ($14.6bn) in 2021.

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