Compass hits £1bn profits

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Operating profits at Compass have reached £1bn for the first time as the catering giant overcame weaker revenues in the UK and Ireland in the year to 30 September.

The company serves four billion meals a year in more than 50 countries, providing catering for schools, armed forces, Chelsea Football Club and the Wimbledon tennis championships among others.

Revenues in the UK and Ireland fell 2.6 per cent to £1.78bn, with profits flat at £114m. Richard Cousins, the chief executive, said however that Compass could benefit from austerity cuts as companies look to oversource.

The company's biggest growth engine is North America, where revenues rose by 9.7 per cent to £6.37bn and profits were up 11 per cent to £491m. Across the group, revenues rose 7.6 per cent to £14.5bn. Operating profits rose 13 per cent to £1bn.