Dividend back at Compass — fish and chips the top COP26 seller


ATERING giant Compass said today it is bouncing back from Covid now that sports events and company conferences are back on.

It has reinstated a dividend of 14p, welcome news for investors, though that is still far shy of the pre-pandemic 40p.

Chief executive Dominic Blakemore reckons companies large and small will be keen to outsource staff food. “It is increasingly complex to manage the health and safety issues,” he said. “We know how to do it.”

In the year to September revenue was down 6% to £18 billion, while profits rose 55% to £811 million.

Compass did the catering at COP26, just some of the six billion meals it serves a year. Fish and chips was the most popular meal at the green summit – 40% of the food served was plant based.

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While WFH might seem to dint sales, Blakemore says when staff do go into offices, they spend more time there and have more meals. Clients are often funding free food programmes to encourage staff back in, he notes.

While the hospitality sector is facing a shortage of staff, Compass says it has hired 1000 people in the last month.

Compass employs 500,000 in 45 countries. The shares today moved up 36p to 1508p.