Food service company Compass Group has reported a sharp fall in profits for the year ended 30 September, despite a rise in turnover. It blamed an "unsatisfactory performance in the UK."

The company reported profit before tax of GBP171m (US$293m), compared with GBP370m in the previous year. Turnover was GBP12.704m, compared with GBP11.772m the previous year.

"Three out of our four geographies, North America, Continental Europe and the Rest of the World have performed to our expectations, with North America and the Rest of the Word (excluding the Middle East military business) delivering a particularly strong result this year," said group chief executive Michael J Bailey. "The performance of the UK has been unsatisfactory. However, we have gripped the issues and the turnaround of this business is underway."

"We have taken decisive action to improve our financial performance to meet our three year targets for free cash flow and return on capital employed," he said. "Everyone in the business is firmly focused on delivering for our clients, customers and shareholders."