Sodexo profit rises 10% thanks to emerging market boost

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French catering services group Sodexo said Wednesday that its net profit rose more than 10 percent to 451 million euros ($611 million) in its 2010-2011 fiscal year thanks to strong performance in emerging countries.

Sales rose 5.4 percent to 16 billion euros in its fiscal year that finished at the end of August, with emerging markets posting nearly 16 percent growth.

The company is in leading positions in emerging nation powerhouses Brazil, Russia, India and China, otherwise known as the BRIC countries.

Sodexo set a target of 5-8 percent organic sales growth for 2011-2012 despite the difficult economic situation.

In the medium term it aims to raise its operating margin to 6.3 percent compared to the 5.3 percent registered in 2010-2011.

While the results were largely in line with analysts expectations, the targets set by the company disappointed investors, with the company's share price losing 2.48 percent while Paris' CAC-40 gave up 2.17 percent.

© 2011 AFP

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