Acquisitions have helped push Compass Group's first-half revenue to £1b for its UK and Ireland business.
The caterer paid £64m in cash for security firm VSG Group last August, which helped revenues lift 8.9% year-on-year for the six months to 31 March 2011.
Organic revenue remained broadly flat with a dip of 0.4%, which was in line with company expectations made in a trading update earlier this year, and an improvement on the 5.7% decline reported for the first half of last year. Operating profit was static at £54m.
The company reported a thriving healthcare sector, with both new business wins and like-for-like growth, and it said the majority of its contracts in this sector now included the provision of both food and support services.
Compass Group's B&I and sports and leisure markets, which both felt the impact of the economic downturn the most, have also seen a string of new business wins, including a £12.5m deal with Defra and a £26m contract at Edinburgh Zoo.
However, the UK and Ireland business is still out of sync with the rest of the world. North America posted organic growth in revenues of 7.8%, Continental Europe was up 1.3% and the "rest of the world" fared the best with a lift of 10.9%.
Chief executive officer Richard Cousins said that the company had delivered "another strong performance" and announced the acquisition of the remaining 50% of Compass Group's business in Turkey.
He said: "We are using our strong cash-flow to support the expansion of the business and to reward shareholders. Furthermore, we have considerable flexibility in our balance sheet and we are keeping its structure under review."
By Janie Stamford
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