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US and emerging markets underpin Compass progress

Catering and support services giant Compass lifted half year revenue four per cent, after a strong North American and emerging markets performance, and said it is confident of future growth.

Catering and support services giant Compass lifted half year revenue four per cent, after a strong North American and emerging markets performance, and said it is confident of future growth.

The group warned that economic conditions in Europe & Japan remain challenging but it expects that actions taken last year will improve operating efficiency.

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Revenue for the half year ended March 31st 2013 rose 4.1% to £8.8bn while pre-tax profit increased 8.1% to £611m.

Revenue at its North American business rose to £4.1bn from £3.8bn in 2012 while emerging markets revenue grew 10.5% to £1.7bn.

Overall, revenue in Europe & Japan for the first half totalled £3.1bn, down from £3.2bn a year earlier, equal to an organic decline of 3.6% or down 2.6% excluding the negative impact due to the timing of Easter.

Chief Executive Richard Cousins commented: "Compass has started the year well. We have delivered good levels of organic revenue growth in North America and Fast Growing & Emerging, and the cost reduction actions we're taking in Europe & Japan are progressing well."

"As we look out to the second half, the pipeline of new contracts in North America and Fast Growing & Emerging remains healthy and we expect to see good performances in these regions. The pressure we've seen on like for like volume in the first half in Europe & Japan is likely to continue."

"In the longer term, we remain very optimistic about the structural growth opportunities in both food and support services around the world. We also expect to generate more cost efficiencies and make further progress in the operating profit margin," he added.

Earnings per share climbed 10.9% to 24.5p in the six-month period as the interim dividend payment was lifted 11.1% to 8.0p.

CJ

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