Compass Group Says Full-Year Profits Rose 81%

Compass Group, the world's largest catering company, said Wednesday that its full-year profit rose 81 percent as it focused on its core businesses and cut costs.

The company said it earned 515 million pounds (717.6 million euros; $1.06 billion) in the year ending Sept. 30, up from 285 million pounds a year earlier. Profit from continuing operations was up 19 percent to 312 million pounds (435 million euros; $646 million).

Revenue from continuing operations was flat at 10.27 billion pounds (14.3 billion euros; $21.3 billion).

"Over the last 18 months we have simplified the business to focus on our core food and support services offer by selling noncore businesses, and we have considerably reduced our risk profile by exiting high risk or volatile businesses," Chief Executive Richard Cousins said in a statement.

In July, Compass completed the sale its Selecta vending machine business in Europe to a company managed by Allianz Capital Partners GmbH ("ACP") for 772 million pounds (1.1 billion euros; $1.6 billion).

Cousins also cited "good quality organic revenue growth, greater focus on like-for-like growth and cost efficiencies."

Amid a worldwide supply crunch that helped push wheat prices to an all-time high this year, Compass said it was managing food price inflation by making changes to the purchasing and supply chain, changing menus and raising prices for clients and consumers.

"Most of the geographies in which we operate and most food categories have seen some inflation," Compass said. "However, the larger double digit inflationary increases have been in dairy, rice and pasta."

Compass shares rose 5.7 percent to 305.75 pence (4.26 euros; $6.33) on the London Stock Exchange.