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Compass Group

Compass Group PLC Q3 Trading Update

This statement updates investors on the Group’s performance from 1 April to 30 June 2019. 


Compass Group plc (LON:CPG) continues to perform well, driven by the strong performance in North America.  As a result, we now expect to deliver full year organic revenue growth at the top of our 4-6% range.  Commensurate with this stronger growth, the Group margin is now expected to be flat compared to the prior year*. 

Organic revenue growth was 6.3% in the third quarter (up 6.7% excluding the impact of Easter), principally driven by strong revenue growth in North America with improving performance in Rest of World. For the nine months to 30 June 2019 organic revenue grew 6.5%.

We remain focussed on delivering efficiencies though our management and performance framework (MAP). The margin for the nine months to 30 June 2019 was in line with the margin for the same period last year.

North America

Our North American business reported organic revenue growth of 8.5% in the third quarter (8.7% excluding Easter) and 8.1% in the nine months to 30 June 2019.  We continued to see good levels of new business wins across all sectors as well as significant benefits from a favourable Sports & Leisure calendar. The margin in the nine months to 30 June 2019 was maintained.


Organic revenue in the third quarter was up 1.9% (2.9% excluding Easter) and 4.3% in the nine months to 30 June 2019. The deceleration in revenue growth in the third quarter principally reflects the expected lapping of new business from the significant UK defence contracts which mobilised in H2 2018. We have continued to see weakening volumes in the UK, France and Germany reflecting the more uncertain macro environment and, as a result, the margin for the nine months to 30 June 2019 was down by a similar amount to that reported in H1.      

Rest of World

Our Rest of World region delivered organic revenue growth of 3.2% (up 3.6% excluding Easter) in the third quarter. In the nine months to 30 June 2019 organic revenue grew 3.2%.  The margin for the nine months to 30 June 2019 showed some good progression over the comparable period last year as we are beginning to see some benefits from pricing and productivity initiatives.


The Group invested around £100 million in the third quarter on bolt-on acquisitions mainly in Europe.  The total invested in acquisitions in the nine months to 30 June 2019 was £470 million.

On 11 June Compass announced it had agreed to acquire Fazer Food Services for an enterprise value of approximately €475 million. The proposed acquisition requires EU Commission competition approval, a process which may take several months.


Trading results from our overseas operations are translated at the average exchange rates for the period. If current spot rates continue for the remainder of the year, foreign exchange translation is expected to increase 2018 reported revenue and underlying operating profit by around £570 million and £48 million respectively. 

Financial Position

There has been no material change in our financial position in the nine months to 30 June 2019.  We continue to maintain a strong investment grade rating and target net debt to EBITDA of around 1.5x.


Compass continues to perform strongly.  Revenue growth in North America is excellent and Rest of World is improving.  Better than anticipated margin improvement in Rest of World and the mix effect of North American growth is offsetting the more difficult volume environment in Europe. 

We now expect full year organic growth at the top of our 4-6% range and therefore the margin is expected to be in line with the prior year*.  We remain mindful of the macro uncertainty in parts of Europe and its impact on the business.

We continue to be excited about the significant structural market opportunity globally and the potential for further revenue, margin and profit growth combined with further returns to shareholders over time.

* FY2018 Restated for IFRS15: 7.4%

Compass will hold a conference call for investors and analysts today 8:30a.m. (UK time). You will be asked for your Name and Company Name and transferred into the waiting area until the call begins.

Participant dial in number:

UK Toll Number: +44 (0) 330 336 9105
UK Toll-Free Number: +44 (0) 800 358 6377

US Toll Number: +1 323 794 2093

US Toll-Free Number: +1 866 548 4713

Pin number: 2305972

Replay dial in number (available until 4 August):

UK Toll Number: +44 (0) 207 660 0134

UK Toll-Free Number: 0 808 101 1153

US Toll Number: +1 719 457 0820

US Toll-Free Number: +1 888 203 1112

Pin number: 2305972