Aramark has reported a record 95% like-for-like annual increase in business retention, from £38.5m in 2010 to £78m in 2011, in what the company has described as its "best year yet".
The catering giant was re-awarded 54 contracts - including the BBC, BP, and Queen Mary's Sidcup NHS Trusts - in the past 12 months, of which 40% were retained following a competitive tender. The remaining contracts were extended without being subject to bid.
In particular, Aramark saw strong growth in healthcare and education contracts, which now make up more than a fifth (21%) of its overall business following a shift in strategic focus.
Andrew Main, chief executive, said that Aramark had taken the view that the economy in 2011 was a sign of changing times rather than tough times, and therefore made it a "fundamental business practice to focus on developing existing client services and relationships while scaling back on non-core activity".
He explained: "Key to our success has been our experience, insight and track-record of working in specific sectors, like education, healthcare and defence for many years.
"Recent years have seen a general shift in the industry, resulting in contract caterers having to work even closer with clients than ever before to really get under the skin of the client organisation and understand their needs in order to create the right offer.
"Programmes centred around income generation, an efficient and improved service offer that is on a par with the high street together with no increase in overheads are top of the client agenda. Those who truly understand what pushes the client's buttons will reap the rewards."
The company's focus in 2012 will remain identifying growth opportunities within Aramark's existing portfolio, particularly in healthcare and education which will remain key sectors for outsourcing development, he added.
By Janie Stamford
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