Skiers and miners lift Compass profits


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The Independent Online

Supplying healthy US hospital food, Disney’s staff canteen, the Mammoth Mountain ski resort in California and miners canteens in Australia all helped Compass post a strong 7.7 per cent rise in first-half profits today.

Compass Group, the world’s largest food-service company with operations in 50 countries serving four billion meals every year, saw emerging markets and US growth offset a much weaker European market.

Revenue rose 8.6 per cent to £8.6bn, up from £7.9bn for the same period in 2011.

Sales in the emerging markets – boosted by new contract wins predominantly in the mining sector such as supplying Rio Tinto miners with food - saw the emerging market business grow by 12.4 per cent.

Tough economic conditions in the UK and southern Europe have continued to hit the group but it has won new business, including supplying the NHS in Bristol with new healthier menus - dramatically reducing salt and fat. It has taken 8 million tonnes of salt out of the UK business and reduced fat by introducing1 per cent fat milk across the UK.

Analysts at Investec said Compass has “delivered another good set of results driven by good levels of new business wins and a high retention rate”.

Richard Cousins, the chief executive at Compass, said: “Whilst we are not immune from the current economic difficulties in Europe, the fundamentals of the business are strong.”