Compass Group PLC: announces strong start to FY-2024

Surrey / UK. (cg) British Compass Group PLC, a global leader in food services, announced its trading results for the first quarter (Q1-2024) ended 31 December 2023.

Organic revenue growth Q1-2024
North America 11.3 percent
Europe 13.0 percent
Rest of World 11.8 percent
Group 11.7 percent

The Group’s organic revenue for the three months to 31 December 2023 increased by 11.7 percent with strong growth across all regions. Like for like volume was better than we anticipated, especially in B+I, with all other growth drivers in line with our expectations when we reported the full year results.

As we focus on the significant structural growth opportunities in our core markets, we have acquired exciting new businesses and continued to reshape our portfolio. Net acquisition expenditure in the first quarter was USD 352m, of which most related to the completion of «Hofmanns» in Germany. In January 2024, we agreed to acquire CH+CO in the UK for an initial enterprise value of approximately USD 600 million, with annual revenues of circa USD 570m, and dispose of our small operations in China.

On 30 January 2024, the Group issued a EUR 750m sustainable bond, maturing in February 2031, the primary purpose of which is to refinance its existing EUR 750m bond maturing in July 2024. As at 7 February 2024, the Group had completed c.USD 100m of its share buyback programme of up to USD 500m as announced at the full year results in November 2023.

Group-CEO Dominic Blakemore: «We’ve had a strong start to the year with sustained balanced growth across all regions. Outsourcing trends and volumes were strong despite continued inflationary pressures and some macroeconomic uncertainty. The Group’s good cash generation and balance sheet gives us the flexibility to invest in capex, driving organic growth, and acquire high quality businesses, unlocking further growth and enhancing shareholder returns. Our 2024 guidance remains unchanged. Underlying operating profit growth is expected to be towards 13 percent3 delivered through high single-digit organic revenue growth and ongoing margin progression.»