Compass Group has said its organic revenue rose 24% in the first quarter on new business wins and gradual return-to-office schedules and events, helping the British caterer retain its 2023 outlook despite rising cost pressures.
The world's largest catering company, which serves office workers, university students, patients and seniors in old age homes across 40 countries, said it was however "mindful" of the uncertain macro-environment and any hit to discretionary spending.
Compass and no.2 French caterer Sodexo have emerged from the pandemic in a better shape, benefiting from first-time outsourcers, who are looking to large catering groups to help with their canteen requirements to cut costs.
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However, they are also navigating rising food inflation in the aftermath of the Russia-Ukraine war, prompting Compass to substitute ingredients, cut menu options and reduce portion sizes to deal with soaring costs.
"Whilst inflation remained elevated, we continued to work closely with our clients to help mitigate this pressure both operationally and through appropriate pricing," Compass said in a statement ahead of its annual general meeting on Thursday 9 February.
Net new businesses grew 5%-6% in the three months ended 31 December and like-for-like volumes - measuring the number of meals it served - increased in double-digits across all regions, the caterer reported.
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