French catering and food services group Sodexo has warned that the return to remote working this winter could affect its volumes, but said that it is not worried if COVID-19 restrictions remain short-lived.
Caterers have been hit hard by the pandemic and are looking for new ways to adapt to recurring lockdowns, more working from home and fewer events.
CFO Statements And French Government's Latest COVID-19 Measures
Chief Finance Officer Marc Rolland said during a call with journalists that catering for the white-collar sector could decrease a little.
The French parliament approved on Thursday January 6 the government's latest measures to tackle COVID-19, including a vaccine pass, and barring unvaccinated people from hospitality venues and trains.
Rolland said it was too early to say if the group could achieve its annual forecasts, but noted first-quarter organic growth of 17.5% was at the top end of its 15-18% full-year guidance range.
Chairwoman And Interim CEO Statement
"At this stage, we maintain our annual guidance and remain confident in the continued recovery," chairwoman and interim Chief Executive Officer Sophie Bellon said in a statement.
The Paris-based firm, which is one of the world's biggest catering companies alongside Britain's Compass, said that revenues reached 95% of pre-COVID levels in the first quarter, with recovery visible in all activities, segments and geographies.
Revenues rose to €5.26 billion from €4.43 billion a year earlier. Analysts had on average expected €5.24 billion, according to a company-provided consensus.
Search For New CEO
Sodexo, which in July launched a search for a new chief executive to replace Denis Machuel, said that the process is moving forward, but that it is taking time to choose the right person.