PARIS, July 9 (Reuters) - French catering, facilities management and vouchers group Sodexo said on Wednesday that its fourth-quarter would be weaker than expected due to the delayed start-up of some major contracts and so cut its full-year sales growth goal.
The world's second-biggest catering services company after Britain's Compass Group said it now expects 2013/14 like-for-like sales to rise by between 2.2 percent and 2.5 percent compared with a previous forecast of 2.5-3.0 percent growth.
Sodexo made the forecast after reporting like-for-like sales growth of 2.3 percent to 13.822 billion euros in the nine-months to May 31, a slight slowdown from 2.4 percent growth in the first half.
It however kept its forecast for 2013/14 operating profit growth of 11 percent at constant exchange rates, and for cost savings to lift its operating margin to 5.6 percent from 5.2 percent last year.
Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by Andrew Callus