Foodservice company Compass Group is finding Northern Europe “challenging,” its chairman Sir Francis Mackay told its AGM earlier this week.


“In the first four months of 2005, turnover growth has remained strong in North America and has developed in line with our expectations in the UK,” he said in a statement prepared for shareholders. There was a mixed picture on the continent and in the rest of the world. “The Middle East, Asia/Australasia and Latin America continue to perform well, while Northern Europe and in particular, France, Germany and the Netherlands are very challenging,” he said.


He predicted growth of at least 6% in like for like turnover in the current year.


“New business wins have been driven by the continued outsourcing of foodservice in the healthcare, education and defence, offshore and remote site sectors, although as we expected, the rate of growth in the defence, offshore and remote site sector has slowed,” he said.


Sir Francis also announced a number of new contract wins. In North America, University Place at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis awarded Flik Conference Center Management a new ten-year contract with annual turnover of £8.6 million. Norfolk State University awarded Thompson Hospitality a new five-year contract with annual turnover of £3.0 million.


In the UK, West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust renewed its contract with Medirest for a further five years with annual turnover of £8.6 million (US$16.2 million). Medirest was also awarded a new five-year contract with Homerton University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust with annual turnover of £4.0 million.


In Continental Europe and Rest of World, Statoil renewed its contract with ESS Offshore for a further five years with annual turnover of £11.5 million (Statfjord A, B & C platforms, North Sea). In France, Bouygues Arc de Seine awarded EUREST a new three-year contract with annual turnover of £1.7 million and in Japan, Japan Post awarded Seiyo Food Systems a new three-year contract with annual turnover of £18.3 million.