Chair’s letter

I am pleased to report that Compass has delivered yet another year of strong progress, both in terms of revenue growth and margin improvement.

The outsourcing market remains buoyant, driven by macroeconomic pressures, such as heightened inflation, and increasing operational complexity as consumers demand a more sophisticated food service offering, with digital and sustainability being the key drivers of growth.

View full statement Our Leadership

Chief Executive’s review

We have a strong, balanced and sustainable growth model across the Group.

Our size, strength and scale enable us to continue investing in our operating model, further enhancing our competitive advantages. The business is in great shape operationally and financially and well positioned for a more focused growth phase. 

View full statement Strategy & Business Model

A global leader in

food services

2023 was another year of significant progress for Compass. As well as delivering strong financial results, the Group continued to develop its digital and sustainability propositions, with a particular focus on food waste.

Highlights of the year

The Compass Group Foundation

The Compass Group Foundation was launched in January with a mission to improve people’s lives through the advancement of education and training, empowering them to play a key role in the future of food for their communities. By providing grants to non-profit organisations in countries where Compass operates, it aims to create inclusive job opportunities, empower local suppliers, and to provide urgent support in the case of global emergencies.

Strong first half results and share buyback

In May, the Group published strong first-half results, raising its full-year guidance and announcing a further share buyback of up to £750 million. Net new business continued to be excellent, and significantly higher than the historical rate. There was a step change in our performance in Europe, as the region benefited from growth initiatives and favourable outsourcing conditions.

Sustainability Deep Dive

Compass presented a virtual deep dive on its sustainability proposition in September, highlighting the progress we have made with clients, consumers, employees and suppliers in finding collective solutions to meet our commitment to climate net zero by 2050. As well as being better for the planet, our sustainability focus is also contributing tangible commercial benefits, helping the Group to win new business.

Learn more



Full-Year results for the year ended 30 September 2023

Our performance​

  • 30%

    apmUnderlying operating profit growth1

    Statutory operating profit growth 26%

  • 19%

    kpiOrganic revenue growth

    Statutory revenue growth 22%

  • 6.8%

    kpiUnderlying operating margin

    Statutory operating margin 6.1%

1. Measured on a constant-currency basis.
kpi Alternative Performance Measure (APM) (see pages 206 to 213 of the full Annual Report)
kpi APM which is also a Key Performance Indicator (see page 7 of the full Annual Report)



£31.3bn Underlying revenue
  • Food services
  • Support services



3 Regions
  • North America
  • Europe
  • Rest of world



5 Sectors
  • Business & Industry
  • Education
  • Healthcare & Senior Living
  • Sports & Leisure
  • Defence, Offshore & Remote

apmAlternative Performance Measure (APM) (see pages 206 to 213 of the full Annual Report). Underlying revenue is defined as revenue plus share of revenue of joint ventures. Statutory revenue in 2023 is £31.0 billion. The Group’s APMs are defined in note 34 (non-GAAP measures) and reconciled to GAAP measures in notes 2 (segmental analysis) and 34 to the consolidated financial statements.

Our strategic framework

  • performance


  • people


  • purpose


Market review

Supporting sustainable growth

The addressable global food services market is worth at least $300 billion, of which Compass has less than 15% market share. This provides us a significant runway for growth, as nearly three-quarters of the market is still self-operated or in the hands of regional players.

In addition, there are further growth opportunities for Compass in vending, selected areas of food delivery, and targeted support services.

The drivers for outsourcing are also growing, due to increased regulation, operational complexity and inflationary pressures.



addressable global food
services market

Large players
Compass Group
Regional players

key performance indicators

We track our progress against a mix of financial and non-financial measures, which we believe best reflect the delivery of our strategy. We measure growth, efficiency and shareholder returns, which are all underpinned by our focus on safety and our impact on the environment.

Organic revenue change1

Organic revenue growth was strong at 18.8% reflecting balanced net new business growth across our regions, higher pricing and base volume recovery during the first half of the year.

Underlying operating margin1

Underlying operation margin improved by 60bps to 6.8% as the Group benefited from operational leverage.

Underlying free cash flow1

Underlying free cash flow increased to £1,241 million in 2023 representing a conversion rate of 58.5% of underlying operating profit.

Underlying basic earnings per share1

Earnings per share growth of 36.7% in 2023 reflected the Group’s strong revenue growth and the improvement in underlying operating margin.

Return on capital employed (ROCE)1

ROCE of 19.5% improved in the most part due to the increase in underlying operating profit during 2023.

Global Lost Time Incident Frequency Rate2

Lost Time Incident Rate further improved to 1.98 reflecting continued focus on loss prevention and return to work initiatives across our regions.

Global Food Safety Incident Rate2

Our focus on Global Food Safety has led to a reduced rate of incidents on a 5-year basis (down 25%), despite our business having grown significantly since 2019.3

Greenhouse gas intensity ratio (GHG)2
6.4 tCO2e/£m

When normalised by revenue we have seen a 12% year-on-year reduction in our GHG emissions ratio.4


Compass prioritises safety as its top operational concern; people are at the heart of our business and so taking care of them is of the utmost importance to us. Our commitment to uphold the highest standard of ethics and integrity has earned us our position as a global leader, trusted partner, and a role model for ethical behaviour. 

Evolving our systems

As our business continues to grow, so does our investment in safety management systems. Compass’ safety platforms are structured to manage risk and enhance operational performance.

Personal safety

Our safety culture emphasises the fundamental importance of incident prevention and intervention. Through awareness, information and training, we empower our people to take individual and collective responsibility for their own safety and the safety of those around them.

Food safety​

Compass’ core values and safety protocols guide the decisions, actions and behaviours of our people and serve as a foundation for the way our businesses operate. Suppliers undergo a rigorous approval process, with any areas for improvement remedied to mitigate wider risks. 

Safety governance​

We continue to diligently focus on a culture of care, respect and safety; empowering our people to adopt behaviours that keep them free from harm while delivering for clients and consumers. Safety learnings are shared right across the business with a safety moment at the start of management meetings, whilst Board and Executive Committee meetings regularly feature health and safety updates. 

Safety targets​

The practice of transparently reporting safety performance encourages a culture of accountability and contributes to continuous improvement in safety practices. Countries are required to report monthly on their LTIFR and FSIR.

Priorities for the year ahead​

The business will prioritise initiatives that further a holistic safety culture; one of those initiatives is the move to measuring personal injury rates focusing on Total Recordable Injury Frequency Rate (TRIFR) rather than LTIFR for 2024 onwards.

Doing what is right

Compass has a passionate commitment to uphold the highest standards of ethics and integrity (E&I) which has earned us our position as a global leader and trusted partner. We believe in responsible leadership; we aim to set the standard and act as a role model for ethical behaviour. 

Our E&I programme

Our risk-based programme and policy framework provide the minimum standards, expectations and guidance for Compass’ employees and those who act on our behalf, to ensure business is conducted in an ethical, fair and responsible way.

Global initiatives

Committed to continued improvement, this year we have prioritised:

  • refreshing and relaunching our CBC
  • launching our Business Integrity Policy
  • introducing an annual E&I awareness week
  • strengthening integrity due diligence
  • improving governance and management reporting 
  • supporting further embedding of Compass’ Human Rights Policy 

Training and awareness

Through communication, awareness and training, we empower, encourage and equip our people to spot red flags and make wellinformed integrity-driven decisions.

Pledge and declaration

To confirm understanding of and compliance with the CBC, our annual self-certification process requires all our target training population of around 18,000 employees globally (2022: around 13,000) to provide a pledge and declaration covering key business integrity risk areas and conflict of interest disclosures.

Priorities for the year ahead

In partnership with the businesses and our community of E&I leaders, we will prioritise our initiatives in accordance with our strategic plan as approved by the Corporate Responsibility Committee. These priorities include continuing to embed third-party integrity due diligence as part of local country processes, improving management of high-risk third parties, enhancing monitoring and oversight procedures, and optimising our E&I suite of tools and technologies.