PARIS -- Sodexo increased its guidance for fiscal 2010 after posting a 7.4% lift in third quarter sales driven by growth in Asia and Latin America. Third-quarter revenue totaled $5.02 billion, up from $4.77 billion in the same year-ago quarter.
Sales in Sodexo's corporate sector edged up 0.9%, year-to-date. Business-and-industry customers continued to reduce spending in North America and the UK, as the weak global economy pressured companies to cut costs, according to Sodexo. Outside Europe and North America, year-to-date organic sales from corporate clients rose 6.2%.
In the first nine months of its fiscal year, Sodexo's contracts in the healthcare and seniors segments rose 1.9%, and its education business grew 2.6%. These gains, the company said, helped to offset weaker growth in the corporate sector.
Sodexo, the world's second-largest catering company after Compass Group, said it now expects organic revenue growth of around 2% this year and operating profit of $1.05 billion to $1.07 billion. The company had already raised its full-year targets in April, projecting organic growth of 0.5% to 1% and operating profit of $967.9 million to $993.03 million.
"The global economic environment is volatile and we remain prudent in our outlook," said chief executive Michel Landel. "However, I remain fully confident in our ability to capitalize on the significant growth potential of our markets."