Sodexo restaurant serves annual core profits on opening, vaccine rollout by Reuters

Reuters. File photo: The logo of the French food services and facilities management group Sodexo is seen at the company’s headquarters in Issy-les-Moulineaux, near Paris, France, on November 30, 2018. REUTERS / Gonzalo Fuentes / File Photo

(Reuters) – French catering and food services group Sodexo (PA 🙂 posted better-than-expected annual core profits and revenue on Wednesday, citing the acceleration of its market-wide immunization program as the driving force behind the restaurant’s reopening.

The Paris-based company reported a 12.4% increase in core profits at a steady rate of 578 million euros ($ 672.68 million) for the year ended 31 August, on revenue of 17.43 billion euros – both slightly beating the company’s poll forecast.

In the fourth quarter, the group reached 87% of its annual activity in 2019, it said.

A huge global rollout of the vaccine has led to the reopening of sites in Sodexo’s major markets, with some parts and activities being faster than others. The company’s Benefits and Rewards Services has seen its merchants ’revenue increase as they reopen restaurants.

Sodexo said it is confident in its ability to continue the pace of recovery at pre-COVID levels, and expects organic growth between 15% and 18%, as well as an operating margin of around 5% at its fixed rate for FY2022.

The French company said growth in the United States, accelerated installation of new food models based on digital solutions and active portfolio management will help Sodexo return to regular and sustainable growth.

The group said it would reintroduce dividends and pay 1.20 euros as part of its dividend policy, linked to an exceptional 0.80 euro settlement program.

(1 = 0.8593 euros)

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