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Sodexo Narrows FY Guidance As COVID, War In Ukraine Stoke Uncertainties

French catering and food services group Sodexo has narrowed its full-year organic revenue growth guidance, citing uncertainties due to COVID-19 and the war in Ukraine.

The Paris-based firm now expects organic revenue growth around the bottom of its previously forecast range of 15% to 18% for its 2022 fiscal year ending August 31.

'Environment Of Uncertainties'

"The current environment remains full of uncertainties. There is a resurgence of localised COVID outbreaks, several mobilisations in Russia will not happen, and the testing centres in the United Kingdom are closing earlier than expected," chief executive Sophie Bellon said in an earnings statement.

The group, which ranks among the world's largest catering companies alongside Britain's Compass Group, said the Omicron and Delta variants of coronavirus had an impact on recovery in the second quarter but added it was seeing a pick-up since end-February.

Recovery In Second Half

"In the second half of the year, we are confident that the return to the workplace and Sports & Leisure events will continue to recover," Bellon said. "However, the environment remains uncertain with intermittent local outbreaks of COVID-19, and the war in Ukraine

"We are confident that we can manage the year end inflationary pressure on margins. Currencies should give us a nice tailwind."

The company served up half-year underlying operating profit at €538 million, slightly beating analysts' forecasts of €530 million.

Group revenue stood at €10.26 million, a 19.4% increase, with 'strong recovery coming through in all segments that were severely impacted by COVID', it added.

The group serves businesses, armed forces, hospitals, schools and events attendees.

Read More: Caterer Compass Close To Achieving Pre-Pandemic Revenue Levels

News by Reuters, edited by ESM – your source for the latest A-brand news. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.

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