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Compass hikes final dividend, LSEG announces new finance chief

Published Nov 20, 2023 07:34 Updated Nov 20, 2023 07:40
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© Reuters. Compass hikes final dividend, LSEG announces new finance chief
 
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Catering giant Compass (LON:CPG) has hiked its final dividend by 27% after annual profits surged on the back of strong sales growth and margin improvement – though it predicts a substantial slowdown in organic growth in the coming year. Revenues totalled £31.3bn in the year ended 30 September, up 18.8% year-on-year on an organic basis. The company said net new business growth was 5%, ahead of the historic average of 3%. The company did highlight that comparators with last year were affected by pandemic restrictions, and so volume growth had started to normalise towards the back end of the year. For the current financial year, organic revenue growth is expected in the "high single-digit" range.

Michel-Alain Proch has been appointed as the chief financial officer and a board member of London Stock Exchange Group (LON:LSEG), it announced on Monday. He would officially assume the role on 1 March next year, pending regulatory approval, after joining LSEG on 26 February. The company said the appointment would follow the 2023 full-year results on 29 February, and would result in Anna Manz stepping down from the board and leaving the group.

Newspaper round-up

Jeremy Hunt has played down the prospect of immediate income tax cuts, pledging not to do anything in this week’s autumn statement that will fuel inflation. Although some Conservative backbenchers are eager for measures that would be quickly felt by households, the chancellor on Sunday sought to emphasise the need to promote growth and indicated that tax cuts were “not going to happen overnight”. – Guardian

Passengers are facing delays at Heathrow airport after strong winds and staff shortages led to air traffic control restrictions. There were reports from angry passengers on social media on Sunday who said their flights had been delayed or cancelled. – Guardian

The Abu Dhabi-backed investment fund RedBird IMI (LON:IMI) is in line to take control of The Telegraph within weeks in a deal that is causing concern among Conservative MPs. RedBird IMI would serve as a conduit for a £1.2bn loan, mostly provided by the Emirati royal and Manchester City owner Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, which would allow the Barclay family to repay in full a debt to Lloyds Banking Group (LON:LLOY). – Telegraph

A £1.4 billion bid for Halfords (LON:HFD) from Redde Northgate has been dismissed because it “undervalues” the bike and car parts retailer, according to reports. That may not be the end of a potential deal, though. The Sunday Telegraph quoted a source as saying: “There were discussions about what an integration of the two businesses might look like, but there were questions over the valuations of both companies. – The Times

A record number of office refurbishments were begun in London this summer as landlords rushed to tart up tired-looking blocks that corporate renters increasingly are shunning. Between April and September, renovation work began on 34 buildings totalling 3.3 million sq ft of workspace, according to Deloitte’s latest office crane survey. It is the second time in a row in the professional services group’s survey that the number of new refurbishments getting underway has broken records. – The Times

US close

Stocks on Wall Street closed marginally higher on Friday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average up just 0.005% at 34,947.28.

The S&P 500 added 0.13% to 4,514.02, and the Nasdaq Composite was ahead 0.08% at 14,125.48.

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Compass hikes final dividend, LSEG announces new finance chief
 

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