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Compass Group Plc Hits New All-Time High As Profits Jump 9%

The shares of Compass (LSE: CPG) topped the FTSE 100 leaderboard this morning, gaining 3% to reach a new all-time high of 955p after impressive full-year results.

Investors have been waiting more than 13 years for Compass shares to finally breach their high-point from the 2000 bull market peak. Today’s surge followed the announcement of a bumper year for underlying profits, which jumped 9% to £1.2bn, as margins climbed above 7% for the first time.

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Compass, the world’s largest catering group, also announced a 12% dividend hike and a £500m share buyback, in a bid to reward shareholders.

Commenting on the results, chief executive Richard Cousins remarked:

“Economic conditions in Europe and Japan remain challenging but the actions we’ve taken have enabled us to manage these and improve profit and margins. Looking ahead, I remain positive about the exciting structural growth opportunities in all of our markets and the potential for further progress.”

With a market cap of £17bn, Compass shares trade at 18 times their expected 2014 earnings, and offer a prospective dividend yield of 2.7%.

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> Mark doesn't own shares of Compass.