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Caterer Compass' sales recover to pre-COVID levels, lifts revenue outlook

·1-min read
Illustration shows smartphone with Compass Group's logo displayed

(Reuters) -Britain's Compass Group announced a share buyback and raised its annual revenue forecast on Wednesday, as sales at the world's largest catering company recovered to pre-pandemic levels after offices around the world gradually reopened.

The company, which serves office workers, students and old-age homes across more than 40 countries, said it was cautious about the inflationary environment but maintained its annual operating margin outlook of over 6% for the fiscal year 2022.

The conflict between Russia and Ukraine, both major wheat suppliers, has sent commodity prices through the roof, putting pressure on companies and their finances, and forcing them to look at ways to curb rising costs.

Compass has sought to keep a tight lid on costs by cutting food expenses and reducing the number of suppliers during the height of the pandemic.

The company said on Wednesday it is also focusing on pricing changes to offset inflation.

The London-listed caterer raised its full-year 2022 organic revenue growth forecast to around 30% from 20%-25% and announced a 500 million pound ($616.65 million) share buyback.

Its underlying operating profit jumped to 673 million pounds for the six months ended March 31, from 287 million pounds a year earlier. Underlying revenue was 103% of 2019 levels.

(Reporting by Shanima A in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V)

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