A tough corporate market, fierce competition in the public sector, and a weak pound have all contributed to a €52m (£43.6m) fall in revenue at Sodexo in the UK and Ireland for the first nine months of its financial year.
Despite bumping up its worldwide revenue for the first nine months of the year by 1.3% to €11.5bn (£9.2bn), the French-owned firm saw UK and Ireland sales drop to €887m (£744m) from €939m (£787.6m). The change represented a 5.6% fall, of which the company said 2.3% was down to the impact of currency changes, while 3.3% was accounted for by a drop in sales.
Sodexo's corporate operations in the UK and Ireland saw revenues shrink 5.1% to €618m (£518m), although it pointed out that it picked up a £14.4m, six-year contract to manage conference and hotel services at the Stirling Management Centre during the period. It also indicated that it had won contracts from Heineken and Johnson & Johnson, although it has so far failed to provide details of the deals.
Revenues in education in the UK & Ireland were also down 6.5% to €92m (£77m), which Sodexo blamed on "continued selectivity in the public sector in schools".
But it was a better story in the healthcare and seniors sector, where the contract caterer saw an uplift in revenue of 5.6% for the period to €177m (£148.5m).
By Neil Gerrard
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