Compass, the world’s largest foodservice group, has reported a rise in third-quarter sales, despite seeing a decline in revenue growth in the UK & Ireland. The company, which supplies food services to businesses, schools and leisure centres in 55 countries, reported a 4.5% increase in sales excluding acquisitions during the quarter. Including acquisitions, sales were up over 8%. Sales excluding acquisitions for the nine months to 30 June 2011 were up 5.3%. It said that continuing the trends seen in the first half of the year, its third quarter organic revenue growth had been driven by “good levels of new business wins and a high contract retention rate”. However, it said that like-for-like revenue continued to show a mixed picture around the world. Sales in the third quarter across its UK & lreland operations declined by 1.5% on a comparable basis to the same period last year, as difficult economic conditions continued to impact like-for- like revenue. The company said that it was continuing to focus on “reducing costs to mitigate the impact of lower like-for-like volume” across the region. It said that excluding the impact of a small amount of acquisition integration costs, the operating margin in the quarter was broadly in line with the same period last year in the UK & Ireland. Its drop in performance in the UK & Ireland was offset by a 1.7% increase in organic revenue across Continental Europe despite like-for- like revenue across the region remaining “difficult”. The group reported a 6.8% rise in sales in North America, with sales up by 7.9% across the rest of the world. Compass invested £126m on acquisitions in the first half of the year. Since 31 March, it has committed to spend an additional c.£210m, which includes the acquisition of the remaining 50% of its Turkish business, Sofra, and its Elior's business in the Netherlands. On 11 May 2011, it agreed a new £700m five-year bank facility. Its existing facility of £697m as at 31 March 2011 was cancelled with effect from 11 May. Compass said: “The good performance seen in the first half of the year has continued into the third quarter, delivering both good organic revenue growth and a further improvement in the underlying operating margin. “As we look out to the rest of the year, we are encouraged by the pipeline of new business and the ongoing opportunities we have to generate further efficiencies. After absorbing the profit impact of events in Japan, our expectations for the full year remain unchanged.”