PARIS, April 13 (Reuters) - French food services and facilities management group Sodexo on Thursday posted an increase in first-half earnings and confirmed its targets of higher sales and profits for the full year.
Sodexo, which is the world's second-biggest catering company after Compass Group, said first-half operating profits, before exceptional expenses, rose 7.7 percent from a year earlier to 723 million euros ($771.5 million).
The consensus operating profit forecast, according to forecasts compiled for Reuters by Inquiry Financial, stood at 697 million euros.
Sodexo, whose profits were boosted by solid performances in north America and Asia, said it expected operating profit growth between 8 percent and 9 percent over the full year and confirmed its medium-term objectives.
Sodexo's results were published on the company's website. ($1 = 0.9371 euros) (Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)