French company Sodexo cuts full year sales growth goal after weak Q3

PARIS, July 6 (Reuters) - French facilities management and vouchers group Sodexo cut its full year sales growth goal on Thursday after a weaker-than-expected performance in the third quarter.

Sodexo, the world's second-biggest catering services company after Compass Group, said it was confident revenue growth would accelerate in the fourth quarter due to recent contract start-ups, and kept its full-year profit growth target.

Sodexo posted revenues of 15.984 billion euros ($18.1 billion) in the nine months to May 31, up 0.5 percent on a like-for-like basis.

It now expected annual, like-for-like sales to rise by between 1.5 percent and 2 percent, instead of the 2.5 percent growth previously anticipated.

Sodexo, however, still expected operating profit at constant exchange rates, and excluding one-time items, to grow by between 8-9 percent in the full-year ending Aug. 31.

($1 = 0.8821 euros) (Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)