LONDON (AP) -- Compass Group PLC, the world's largest catering company, reported Wednesday that profit fell 14 percent in the year ending Sept. 30 due to fewer sales of assets compared with a year earlier. Shares rose, though, as the results were better than analysts' forecasts.
Profit attributable to equity shareholders was 443 million pounds ($673 million) for the year, compared to 515 million pounds in the previous year. The drop reflected a decline in profit from the sale of assets, which were negligible compared to a net figure of 585 million pounds in the previous year.
Underlying operating profit of 662 million pounds was comfortably above analysts' consensus of 640 million pounds.
Revenue rose 11 percent to 11.44 billion pounds.
Shares closed up 9.3 percent at 281.5 pence ($4.30) on the London Stock Exchange.
Compass Group operates in more than 60 countries with 360,000 employees.
"Confidence in the company's outlook has been cemented via an 11 percent increase in the dividend payment," he added.
On the Net: http://www.compass-group.com/