Compass Group plc Reports Q3 Sales Growth Of 4%

Published in Company Comment on 24 July 2013

Compass Group plc (LON: CPG) reports higher sales and rising margins.

The shares of Compass (LSE: CPG) climbed 11p to 887p during early trade this morning after the catering services group said it had delivered "another good performance" during its third quarter.

The FTSE 100 member claimed organic revenue growth during April, May and June had been 4% adjusted for Easter and other holidays, and was 5.2% on a stautory reported basis.

Compass added that operating margins had been lifted by 20 basis points during the quarter.

Today's statement revealed mixed geographical progress, with underlying sales up 8% in North America, down 3% in Europe and Japan, and up 10% in emerging markets such as Turkey and Brazil.

The statement also revealed £80m had been spent on acquisitions and £224m had been spent on share buybacks during the first nine months of the group's financial year.

Looking ahead, Compass described its overall expectations for the full year as "positive and unchanged" and that it was "very optimistic about the structural growth potential" of its markets for the long term.

Prior to today, City boffins were predicting Compass would improve its earnings by 10% to 47p per share for the current year. The dividend was expected to be lifted 11% to 23.7p per share.

Following this morning's price gain, the shares could therefore trade at a potential 19 times forecast profits and yield a possible 2.7%.

Of course, whether that valuation and today's trading statement combine to make the shares of Compass a 'buy' remains something only you can decide.

However, if you already own Compass shares and are seeking an alternative buying opportunity, the Fool's top analysts have named one company they believe will generate superior long-term capital growth…

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> Maynard does not own any share mentioned in this article.

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