April 11, 2019 / 5:02 AM / 6 months ago

French group Sodexo keeps financial goals as growth accelerates in Q2

PARIS, April 11 (Reuters) - French food services group Sodexo on Thursday reported a stronger-than-expected rise in first-half revenues as growth accelerated in all its businesses in the second quarter, and the company also stuck to its financial goals for the year.

Sodexo, which is the world’s second-biggest catering company after Compass Group, said core first half profits also rose although investment costs weighed on its profit margins, as the company had previously flagged in January.

First-half underlying operating profits rose 3.1 percent from a year earlier to 647 million euros ($729.6 million). This translated into an operating margin of 5.9 percent against 6.1 percent a year-ago.

Organic revenues reached 11.045 billion euros, marking a 3.1 percent rise which beat analysts’ expectations for 2.7 percent growth in an Infront Data poll for Reuters.

Sodexo kept its forecast for organic revenue growth of between 2-3 percent and an underlying operating profit margin of 5-5.7 percent for the full year ending Aug. 31.

$1 = 0.8868 euros Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta

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