Shares in Compass Group were down on the FTSE 100 in afternoon trading ahead of the catering company's first half pre close trading update.

In December the group issued a first quarter statement which indicated a good start to the year, with good organic revenue growth and like for like revenue growth of 5.5 per cent.

The positive start to the year was attributed to good growth in its foodservice and support services divisions, a strong performance in North America and the Rest of the World and an efficiency programme.

Keith Bowman, analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said ahead of the results, "Some impact on the group's Rest of the World operations could be announced - the division which in 2010 accounted for 19.5 per cent of overall company revenues includes its Japanese business.

"Furthermore, and in the wake of a recent bolt-on acquisition in Holland, management may again emphasise its shift away from improving efficiency and towards acquiring growth by acquisitions. Ahead of the update, market consensus opinion continues to denote a strong buy."

By 14:45 shares in Compass were down 0.62 per cent on the FTSE 100 to 557.00 pence per share.