Compass points to healthy profits and new Twickenham deal

Compass group, the world’s biggest caterer, has revealed a jump in profits thanks to strong demand
in North America and emerging markets.

Pre-tax profit in the year to 30 September was up 5.4 per cent at £1.3bn.

The European and Japanese markets were more of a struggle for the group’s business, however, although
overall revenue came in up over four per cent, at £17.1bn.

The group employs more than half a million people worldwide and, in the UK, caters for major events
such as Wimbledon and leading London restaurants.

Richard Cousins, Group Chief Executive, said: “Compass
has had another good year, with strong growth in North America and fast growing and emerging markets.”

A focus on efficiencies, Cousins added, had enabled the group to improve margins. “We generated
good levels of cash flow, which has allowed us to reinvest in the business and reward shareholders
through a proposed increase in
the dividend alongside our ongoing £500m share buyback,” said, noting
the group had returned a further £1bn to shareholders through a special
 announced in May.

“Our strategy is clear,” Cousins said. “Food is and will  remain
core competence and is backed with some strong support service
businesses. All our markets have exciting opportunities and as a result
we are investing more resources around the world to deliver strong
growth. At the same time we remain disciplined with
regards to margins. I remain positive about our potential for continuing
progress in the years ahead.”

Meanwhile, The Rugby Football Union and Levy Restaurants UK, the sports, leisure and hospitality
sector of Compass Group UK & Ireland, has announced the renewal of contracts, to continue their joint venture, Twickenham Experience Ltd (TEL).

The partnership provides all match day catering, hospitality and bar services, as well as non-match
day catering, conference and event management at Twickenham Stadium and has been in existence since 2000. 

10-year contract extension is worth over £30m in annual revenues to the
RFU Group, with profits
going back into the game at all levels. The renewed venture will deliver
all match day retail and hospitality food and beverage operations for
the 82,000 capacity stadium as well as continuing to grow the
non-matchday conference and events business at the venue.


The operational functions of TEL will continue to be supported by Levy Restaurants UK’s sales specialists
– Lime Venue Portfolio. 


Brown, Chief Financial Officer, RFU and Chairman of TEL, said: “We are
not only committed
to delivering a unique and inspiring experience for fans attending
Twickenham Stadium on match day, but also creating the same quality of
experience for customers attending the many other non-match day events
and conferences that occur throughout the year at
our venue. There has been a long and successful partnership over the
past 14 years with Compass Group UK & Ireland. The new 10-year
contract will allow us to continue to develop and innovate our match day
and conference and events offering as well as to set
an ambitious, standard setting long term strategy for the Twickenham
Experience Limited business.”


Do you have news for CN? Email: Paul Colston

Paul Colston


Paul Colston

Managing Editor, Conference News & Conference & Meetings World.

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