Catering group Compass announces annual profits rise

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Compass Group, the world's biggest caterer by sales, said on Wednesday that its full-year net profits rose eight percent as revenues increased by a similar amount.

Earnings after tax grew to £728 million (844 million euros, $1.14 billion) in the 12 months to the end of September from £675 million in 2009-10, Compass said in a statement.

Revenues grew 9.4 percent to £15.8 billion in 2010-11 for the company that supplies catering services to hospitals, offices and schools in more than 50 countries.

"The group continues to make excellent progress, despite the headwinds of food cost inflation, an uncertain economic backdrop in parts of the world and the impact of events (earthquake, tsunami) in Japan," Compass chairman Roy Gardner said in the statement.

"Looking forward, Compass is well placed to exploit the significant growth opportunities that we see in many of our markets. The future prospects of the group have given us the confidence to increase the final dividend by 10 percent and to announce a £500 million share buy back over the next 12 months."

Compass said that the Japanese earthquake in March had impacted profits by about £15 million.

© 2011 AFP

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