International caterer Sodexho Alliance today reported a 1.6% fall in global sales for the three months to the end of November 2004, largely due to unfavourable currency exchange rates.
Excluding currency effects, however, underlying sales growth was 2.8%, the company said.
Total turnover for the period was €3.085b.
Excluding the hospitality contract for the 2003 Rugby World Cup, organic growth was 4.4%, which Sodexho said was "in line with our fiscal year growth objective of approximately 4%."
Sales in the UK & Ireland division dipped by 2.2% to €324m, which the company said was "due to the particularly weak prior-year client retention rate in the business and industry segment."
However, it pointed to good growth in the defence sector, thanks to the 35-year Private Finance Initiative deal signed with the Army's Colchester Garrison, and said recovery initiatives were continuing.
Organic sales growth in North America was 3.6%, in continental Europe it was 4.2%, but in the rest of the world the company saw a 1.3% drop in turnover.
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