Compass Group Plc has reported a strong first quarter and said that global revenues had increase organically in line with last years levels.

The world's largest catering group said that margins were continually improving and that operating profit was ahead of last year's first quarter and was marginally ahead of expectations. The company said its cash flow was very good.

Compass said that it was taking steps to combat the effect of rising food prices, by cutting its costs, altering its menus and raising its prices.

The group said that its broad mix of clients in North America helped to deliver strong organic growth in the first quarter. In continental Europe, Spain and the Nordic regions also helped to drive growth.

Compass also announced today that it had agreed to buy Accor SA's 50 per cent stake in the two companies Brazilian joint venture GRSA. Compass said it had bought Accor's 50 per cent stake for a total cash consideration of around £88 million.