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Caterer Sodexo expects remote working to hit business

The logo of the French food services and facility management group Sodexo can be seen at the company’s headquarters in Issy-les-Moulineaux near Paris, France, on November 30, 2018. REUTERS / Gonzalo Fuentes / File Photo

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Jan. 6 (Reuters) – French catering and foodservice group Sodexo (EXHO.PA) on Thursday warned that returning to work remotely this winter could affect its volumes, but said it was not worried if COVID-19 restrictions remained short-lived.

Caterers have been hit hard by the pandemic and are looking for new ways to cope with recurring blockages, more working from home and fewer events.

CFO Marc Rolland said on a call with reporters that catering to the white-collar sector may decline a bit.

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The French parliament on Thursday approved the government’s latest measures to fight COVID-19, including a vaccine pass and the ban on unvaccinated people from reception areas and trains. Read more

Rolland said it was too early to say if the group could meet its annual forecast, but noted that the 17.5% organic growth in the first quarter was at the high end of its 15-18 annual forecast range. %.

“At this stage, we are maintaining our annual forecasts and remain confident in the continuation of the recovery,” Acting President and CEO Sophie Bellon said in a statement.

The Paris-based company, one of the world’s largest catering companies alongside Britain’s Compass (CPG.L), said revenue reached 95% of pre-COVID levels in the first quarter, with a visible recovery in all activities, segments and geographic areas.

Revenue reached 5.26 billion euros ($ 5.95 billion) from 4.43 billion a year earlier. Analysts expected an average of 5.24 billion euros, according to a consensus provided by the company.

Sodexo, which in July launched a search for a new chief executive to replace Denis Machuel, said the process is moving forward, but choosing the right person is taking time.

Sodexo shares fell 1.8% to 79.58 euros at 0802 GMT.

($ 1 = € 0.8844)

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Reporting by Anait Miridzhanian Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Mark Potter

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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