French caterer and foodservice provider Sodexo SA reported said its fiscal 2021 consolidated revenues was 17.4 billion euro, decreasing 9.8% year-on-year, for the period ended Aug. 31. This included a negative net contribution from acquisitions and disposals of 0.2% and a negative currency impact of 4%. As a result, the organic decline was 5.6%, with the combination of a first half down 21.7%, followed by a second half that was up 18.1% as the comparable base reflected the start of the pandemic in the previous year, better than guidance.
"Organic growth was better than expected in both halves," said Sodexo chairwoman and interim chief executive Sophie Bellon. “Recovery in revenues has been progressive, quarter on quarter. By the fourth quarter, the [Sodexo] reached 87% of fiscal 2019 activity, with healthcare, schools and benefits and rewards services already back up at pre-COVID levels."
Sodexo said onsite services revenues declined 6% for the year. Following the deepest downturn ever registered by the group due to the pandemic in the second half fiscal 2020, the caterer said activity has picked up progressively quarter by quarter, reaching 87% of pre-COVID Fiscal 2019 revenues at constant rates, by the fourth quarter.
Healthcare and senior venues picked back up to 100% and schools 99% of pre-COVID levels. Business and administration accounts, however, remained impacted by the slow return to work, which was at 79% of pre-COVID levels. Sodexo's recovery in the sports and leisure segment was only 43% of pre-COVID, which really started from July in sports events; convention center activity is only just seeing the recovery in reservations.
Bellon said the company's cashflow "has been very positive" with a debt ratio at 1.7 and its liquidity is stronger than ever at 6.4 billion euro. "The recovery is continuing into fiscal 2022, with ongoing growth and margin improvement," she confirmed.
In its financial report, Sodexo provided an update on portfolio management changes. As part of the simplification of the onsite services, the company has continued to reduce the number of countries in which it is present, now down to 56 from 80 at the start of 2018. This process has led to a more disciplined approach to reduce the group’s presence in certain smaller countries, where either the size or the growth opportunities were lacking.
See Sodexo SA's full fiscal 2021 report at Globe Newswire.