Compass is continuing the rebranding work of motorway service areas in the UK, introducing Upper Crust and Ritazza to its sites. Sixty have been introduced so far and had been "well-received", the company said.

The news came with a trading update before its interim results due on May 22. The company said organic growth was still on-track and margin improvements were still being achieved.

Like-for like sales growth in the UK division was expected to exceed 5% in the first half despite the impact of the foot-and-mouth crisis. Underlying sales growth in Europe, North America and the rest of the world had been maintained at 8% and business retention rates were still high post the demerger from Granada Media.

It continued on-track to achieve planned merger synergies of £20m this year.

Compass Group has announced the agreement of new foodservice contracts in France, Greece and Denmark.

The global contract caterer said Select Service Partner had been awarded an initial-seven-year, £7m contract for foodservice and vending outlets at the Bale-Mulhouse Airport operations, in the new Schengen and International terminal in France.

The £11m Greek deal, also for seven years, calls on Eurest Hellas to provide employee foodservice and vending at the new Athens airport to be opened later this month. It has also won a 5-year contract worth more than £6m for three sites for South Denmark University.

The markets greeted the trading update warmly. BMP Paribas has forecast full-year profits of £595m excluding exceptionals.