Sodexho is undertaking a major review of its education strategy in the UK, according to group chief executive Michel Landel.
Speaking in Paris this morning at the presentation of the group's 2006 first half results, Landel said: "We have to be very selective in the UK education market. Philip Jansen and the team over there are reviewing the strategy and re-focussing our resources."
Despite positive growth elsewhere, Sodexho saw a 6.5% fall in revenue in the UK education sector in the first half of 2006.
The review comes as meal uptake has fallen by an average of 12% in the state education sector. It is also against a background of Government underfunding and tougher nutritional standards.
Landel said: "The price level of meals is very low and we are concerned by that. We clearly have to be very prudent."
Group turnover growth in the first six months of 2006 was 5.5%, rising from €5.9b (£4.13b) in 2005 to €6.55b (£4.58b) this year.
UK and Ireland contributed €663m (£464m), representing a 2.1% increase.
Business and industry saw modest growth of 0.4%, after strong contributions from defence and prison contracts, including a £20m deal at North Yorkshire army barracks.
Turnover at its healthcare and seniors division jumped by 19.5%, thanks to private finance initiative deals at hospitals in Stoke Mandeville in Buckinghamshire, and Havering and Roehampton in London.
By Tom Bill