Nov. 21, 2017, 2:33 a.m. EST

Compass profit up, buoyed by N. America business

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By Maryam Cockar

Compass Group PLC (CPG.LN) said Tuesday that pretax profit rose 18% in fiscal 2017, bolstered by its North America business and the translational effect of weaker sterling.

For the financial year ended Sept. 30, the contract catering company made a profit of 1.56 billion pounds ($2.07 billion) compared with GBP1.32 billion the year earlier.

Revenue increased to GBP22.60 billion from GBP19.60 billion last year.

The FTSE 100-listed company proposed an annual dividend of 33.50 pence, up 5.7% from 31.70 pence last year.

Outgoing Chief Executive Richard Cousins said that the company's expectations for fiscal 2018 are positive, with growth and margin improvement weighted to the second half of the year.

"In the longer term, we remain excited about the significant structural growth opportunities globally and the potential for further revenue growth, margin improvement, as well as continued returns to shareholders," he said.

The company previously said that Mr. Cousins will step down at the end of March 2018 and will be replaced by Europe Chief Operating Officer Dominic Blakemore, who was appointed deputy CEO in October for a six-month transitional period.

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