© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The logo of French food services and facilities management group Sodexo is seen at the company headquarters in Issy-les-Moulineaux near Paris, France, November 30, 2018. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

By Federica Mileo and Diana Mandia

(Reuters) -French catering and food services group Sodexo (EPA:) on Friday reported better-than-expected revenue for the third quarter with strong growth in all business segments and geographies, helped by price hikes and post-Omicron volume recovery.

The Paris-based firm’s revenue rose by 18.3% organically to 5.52 billion euros ($5.77 billion) in the three months ended May 31, against a 5.33 billion euro average estimate from analysts polled by the company.

Sodexo, which provides catering for businesses, industrial sites, military troops, government agencies, hospitals, schools and sports events, also confirmed the full-year outlook it had lowered in April.

The group said its Corporate Services business continued to benefit from the return to offices, while activity also picked up in Sports & Leisure and Universities segments as events and retail sites restarted.

After being hit by COVID-19 lockdowns, caterers are now renegotiating tariffs and supplier agreements as the sector faces soaring energy and food prices triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, both major wheat exporters.

“We are moving ahead on improving the effectiveness of our On-site Services organization,” Chairwoman and CEO Sophie Bellon said in a statement.

On-site services is Sodexo’s main division, with 5.30 billion euros of revenues in the quarter.

Sodexo, which in May dropped the option of opening up the capital of its voucher business to an external investor, said it would present its strategy for the division together with its mid-term objectives on Nov. 2 during its Capital Markets Day.

($1 = 0.9573 euros)

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