SSP reinstates dividend as FY profits surge on passenger revival
International food and beverage travel outlet operator SSP Group on Tuesday reinstated its dividend as it reported a near doubling of annual core profits, driven by the continued resurgence in passenger numbers and workers returning to work in offices.
The company, which was hit hard by restrictions during the Covid-19 pandemic, posted underlying core earnings of £280m, up 97%. Revenue jumped 37% to £3bn, while a final dividend of 2.5p a share was declared.
On a pre-tax basis, profits at the Upper Crust chain owner surged to £88m from £25m.
SSP said new year trading had remained strong in all key markets, with total revenue during the first eight weeks from October 1 to November 26 up 22% year on year on a constant currency basis.
“Our revenue performance is being driven by passenger recovery, a strong customer proposition and robust operational execution. In addition, revenues are benefitting from net gains as we mobilise our secured pipeline,” the company said.
“In North America, sales grew by 33% year-on-year on a constant currency basis, driven by robust domestic air passenger numbers and strong like-for-like performance. Our performance includes a sales benefit from the acquisition of the Midfield concessions business, with the transfer of units at all seven airports now complete.”
Continental European revenues grew by 14% year-on-year benefiting from an extended holiday season into the autumn, while in the UK, sales increased by 22%, reflecting a strong performance in SSP’s airports business and an ongoing improvement in rail passenger volumes as commuters continue to return to working in offices.
Asia-Pacific and Europe, Eurasia and the Middle East revenues rose by 29% on further improvements in passenger numbers across the Asia Pacific region.
Reporting by Frank Prenesti for Sharecast.com