By Anthony O. Goriainoff

Compass Group raised its guidance after pretax profit rose in the first half of its fiscal year on a strong revenue performance.

The U.K. catering contractor said Wednesday that it now expects to report underlying operating profit growth for fiscal 2024 toward 15%, up from prior guidance of 13%. Organic revenue growth is now expected toward 10%, compared with a previous forecast of high single-digit growth.

For the six months to March 31, pretax profit was $1.2 billion compared with a restated $990 million the year before, Compass said.

Underlying operating profit--which strips out exceptional and other one-off items--rose to $1.47 billion from $1.25 billion. Company-compiled consensus for the metric was $1.46 billion.

Revenue rose to $20.74 billion from $18.66 billion, compared with consensus of $20.8 billion.

The board declared a dividend of 20.7 cents a share, up from 17.9 cents.

The company said it sees many opportunities for growth in terms of mergers and acquisitions, where it has a strong pipeline, as well as organically, where the market remains buoyant.

"We will continue to reinvest in the business to support future growth, with any surplus capital returned to shareholders," Chief Executive Dominic Blakemore said.

Write to Anthony O. Goriainoff at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

05-15-24 0246ET