Compass Group

15 March 2007 by
Compass Group

The UK-based group operates across a wide range of sectors, from business and industry, fine dining, education and healthcare to sports and leisure catering and military, remote and offshore sites.

It uses an confusingly extensive stable of brands across that include Eurest, Medirest, Scholarest, Roux Fine Dining, Baxter & Platts and FMC. However, this line-up is likely to be culled in the near future as Compass seeks to simplify and streamline its offer.

From its war-time origins feeding British munitions workers, Compass has spearheaded the evolution of the contract catering sector from institutional canteen culture to the modern animal it is today.

Its groundbreaking innovations ranged from the use of high street brand names and sector-specific subsidies to the exploitation of new markets such as football grounds, hospitals, and airports.

Compass has grown rapidly in the past 15 years from a £250m UK business in 1991 into the international giant it is today. Its aggressive acquisition policy reached its zenith in 2000 when it absorbed the Granada foodservice business to shoot from third to first position in the UK league table.

The Granada merger and demerger briefly made Compass the UK's largest hotel operator and a key player in the roadside restaurant and motorway service area sectors. But shareholder hostility to its attempts to diversify soon prompted the group to offload its non-core businesses.

Compass is currently undergoing a period of transition following a turbulent couple of years from 2004 marked by a string of profit warnings, a revolving door in the boardroom, shareholder discontent over its acquisition and turnover-based strategy, a UN corruption scandal over African contracts, and negative publicity about the discounts it was hiding from clients and its punishing regime with suppliers.

The group's business model is now being reworked under a brand new management team made up of high-profile achievers from outside the foodservice sector.

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Compass business and industry brands

Latest news on CompassCompass not clear of UN scandal yet >>
ABI gives Compass red card over former executives' pay >>
Compass vows to link future rewards to performance >>
Compass Group settles UN fraud lawsuits out of court >>
More jobs to go in Compass clearout >>
Compass to simplify brands in restructure >>

Compass Group completes sale of roadside and travel catering businesses >>

- Compass health and education brands

Features on CompassCompass's bad press puts contracts under scrutiny >>
Will Compass find a new direction? >>

Latest financial news from Compass

Compass Group ‘marginally ahead of expectations' >>
Compass boss in bid to set company back on course >>
Compass Group announces board changes as profit and turnover climbs >>
Compass Group achieves cost saving target of £50m >>

Compass Group's profits continue to head south >>


- Compass sport and leisure brands

Latest Compass contract wins Compass Group wins £34m Guildford Spectrum contract >>
Compass Group wins major Shell contract >>

Key personalities at Compass

Compass Group deputy chairman to retire >>

Compass boss in bid to set company back on course >>
Compass Group announces board changes as profit and turnover climbs >>
Compass appoints new managing director of its fine-dining division >>
Newcomer El-Mokadem to head Compass UK & Ireland >>
Richard Cousins >>
Sir Roy Gardner >>

[Ian El-Mokadem >>


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- Richard Cousins Chief executive - Sir Roy Gardner Chairman - Ian El-Mokadem Chief executive, UK and Ireland
Compass timeline1941: Jack Bateman founds Factory Canteens to feed British munitions workers 1960: Grand Metropolitan buys Bateman and Midland Catering to create Grand Metropolitan Catering Services, which is relaunched as Compass Services in 1984. 1987: Compass Group is formed following a management buy-out and floats on the London Stock Exchange in 1988. 1994: Compass moves into the USA with the acquisition of Canteen Vending. 1995: Compass buys Eurest International from Accor. July 2000: Compass completes an £18b merger with Granada Group, demerging in February 2001. 2001: Compass sells off the Signature London, Posthouse, Heritage and Le Meridien hotel chains it inherited from Granada. February 2003: Compass sells the Travelodge budget hotel chain and the Little Chef roadside restaurants to private equity group Permira. April 2006: Compass sells its roadside and travel catering businesses for £1.82b. This includes Select Service Partners, which it bought in 1993. [Compass company profile on CatererSearch >> ](
- Compass fine dining brands
Compass on the web[Compass Group official site >> ]( [Compass Americas division official site >> ]( [Compass on Investegate >> ]( [Compass on Wikipedia >>]( [Compass on Google Finance >>]( [Compass on Yahoo Finance >> ]( [Latest Compass jobs on CatererSearch >>
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