Compass Group drops on euro macro woe

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Compass Group drops on euro macro woe
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FTSE 100 food services firm Compass Group (LON:CPG) has seen its share price drop by 5.31% to 1,961p (as of 11:25 GMT) after statutory operating profits for the year ended 30th September fell by 5.4%. Management said that macro conditions in European markets had been deteriorating and they were taking action across the company to reduce their cost base which had had an effect on this year’s earnings.

CEO Dominic Blackmore commented: “Compass has had another strong year. Organic revenue growth was 6.4%, ahead of our target range, thanks to excellent growth in North America and an improving performance in Rest of World. There was good growth in our European business with strong performances in UK Defence and Sports & Leisure offsetting weak volumes in Business & Industry. The Group margin during 2019 was maintained despite this more challenging trading environment in Europe.

“We are making good strategic progress through disciplined focus on our Performance, People and Purpose priorities and have continued to reshape our portfolio. Disposal proceeds have been reinvested in bolt-on acquisitions to further strengthen our food service offer and subsector approach, and in June we announced the proposed acquisition of Fazer Food Services, a leading food service business in the Nordics, which is a strong strategic fit with Compass.

“Despite this good performance, we are not immune to the macro environment. Deteriorating business and consumer confidence in Europe has impacted our Business & Industry volumes, new business activity and margin. Given these trends, we are taking prompt action in Europe and certain Rest of World markets to adjust our cost base. As well as offsetting short-term margin pressures, by taking this action from a position of strength, we will be better placed to capitalise on future growth opportunities.

“Our expectations for the Group in 2020 are positive although we remain cautious on the macro environment in Europe. The pipeline of new contracts in North America is strong and Rest of World is growing well, although we are seeing some hesitation in decision making in Europe. Thanks to the Group’s geographic and sectoral diversity, we are nevertheless confident of continued progress. As such we expect organic growth to be around the mid-point of our 4-6% range whilst maintaining our strong margin1 as we mitigate the expected volume pressures through our cost actions“.

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