Compass heads south after warning on profits

John Abiona



dmg media (UK)


ShareS in Compass Group, the world’s largest catering company, fell after its profit guidance left the City underwhelmed. The stock dropped 2pc, or 42p, to 2050p after it said profit should increase by 13pc in the year to September 2024 while revenue is likely to rise by up to 9pc. analysts said yesterday the outlook was ‘conservative’. It came after the FTSe 100 firm, which caters for events such as the Super Bowl and the Grammy awards, said revenues rose 21.6pc to £31bn in the year to the end of September and profit increased by 26.1pc to £1.89bn. Compass cashed in as new clients outsourced their catering services to the group. Investors will be rewarded with new £400m share buyback, though analysts at Jefferies said this was at the bottom end of expectations. The FTSE 100 fell 0.1pc, or 7.89 points, to 7496.36 and the FTSE 250 inched up 0.2pc, or 31.18 points, to 18599.05. Distribution group Diploma stormed ahead on the blue-chip index after its annual results beat market forecasts. Shares shot up 11.2pc, or 338p, to 3358p. heading in the other direction was Sirius Real Estate. Increases in its half-year net asset value, dividend and rental growth were overshadowed by plans to tap shareholders for £145m so it can expand its portfolio in the UK and Germany. Shares lost 3.1pc, or 2.85p, to 88.5p. The London Stock Exchange Group poached Michel-alain Proch from the French communications firm Publicis Groupe to be finance boss. he will join at the end of February. Shares rose 1.1pc, or 96p, to 8646p. Safety barrier maker Halma bought four companies owned by the US firm TeDan, which makes and supplies medical devices that surgeons use in operations, for around £72m. Shares increased 1.8pc, or 37p, to 2090p. Business is booming at Begbies Traynor amid rising insolvencies. The restructuring specialist said revenue rose 13pc in the six months to October 31 while profit was up 10pc. But shares fell 4.6pc, or 6p, to 124p. Government contractor Capita landed a contract worth £239m over ten years to manage the Civil Service Pension Scheme (CSPS) for the Cabinet Office. The group, which also runs the London congestion charge and collects the BBC licence fee, will begin its work from September 2025. Shares rose 4.7pc, or 0.86p, to 19.2p. engineering group Senior said it is on course to meet expectations for the year after revenues rose 15pc in the ten months to the end of October. It also set its sights on an improved performance for its aerospace division in 2024 as supply chain issues ease and production rates rise. Shares, however, were flat at 165p. Spirax Sarco made gains after its chief executive Nicholas anderson and finance boss Nimesh Patel bought nearly £ 100,000 worth of shares each in the engineering firm. Shares added 2.8pc, or 250p, to 9190p. Foxtons is facing growing calls to put itself up for sale from shareholders such as Milkwood Capital, the investment fund which owns around 4pc, who want the estate agent to unlock its full value. Shares ascended 6.7pc, or 2.7p, to 43.2p. The leading shareholder in education software provider Tribal voiced its opposition to a takeover bid. Jenzabar, which owns a 20.96pc stake, said it ‘strongly opposes’ the £159m offer from Tribal’s US peer ellucian on October 5 and vowed to vote against any further proposals. It also confirmed it has no intention to make a firm bid for the group. Shares rose 6.6pc, or 4.2p, to 67.5p.