Sodexo Group has posted a better than expected underlying operating profit margin of 3.1 per cent for the six-month period through February, but warns that with continuing uncertainty due to the pandemic, it expects little improvement in the quarter on quarter trends through to the fiscal year end in August.
Reflecting the substantial loss of food volumes due to the lockdown and working from home, same site sales decline was at -22.7 per cent, but Facilities Management Services remained solid.
Commenting on the UK’s Business performance, Sean Haley, region chair, Sodexo UK & Ireland said:
“Our half-year fiscal results and activities over the last six months reflect a very solid performance in the context of continued disruption and the impact Covid-19 continues to have on our business.
“The business continues to be resilient and we approach the second half of the year with a spirit of cautious optimism. Here in the UK, the success of the vaccine rollout and the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown will enable parts of our business that have, to all intents and purposes, been closed for many months, to open once again.
“Preparations are already underway for major events such as Royal Ascot, Henley Royal Regatta and the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, for which we are the hospitality partner. Furthermore, with lockdown easing and further announcements due next week on international travel, we are working with our clients at stadia, venues, offices and airport lounges to support safe reopening, as consumers start to plan meetings, events and experiences once again.
“In addition to a resurgence of activity with existing clients, we have also celebrated a raft of significant new business wins with high profile brands and organisations across all segments. These have included new partnerships for both hospitality and the workplace – the latter being awarded based on our new Vital Spaces proposition which brings together experts from across Sodexo to focus on delivering a positive employee experience for people wherever they are working.”
“I am immensely proud of all our teams who unwaveringly bring our values to life whether working on the frontline, at home, and everywhere in between – they continue to deliver excellence for our clients and to make a real positive impact on the communities within which we operate. We have continued to support and invest in their wellbeing as they adapt to new working arrangements. We are by no means out of this crisis yet, but everything I see happening across the business fills me with confidence that we, like the UK Government, are in a strong position to Build Back Better.”