SSP Group plc, the food and beverage outlet operator at travel sites, has issued its trading update for the third quarter of its financial year ending 30 September 2019, covering the period from 1 April to 30 June 2019.
Operating across 33 countries, SSP has reported a solid third quarter and has made further progress on its strategic initiatives.
Total Group revenue increased by 9.2% on a constant currency basis, comprising like-for-like sales growth of 2% and net contract gains of 7.2%. At actual exchange rates, total Group revenues for the period increased 10.3% year- on-year.
In the UK, like-for-like sales growth was in line with expectations, with stronger like-for-like sales growth in the air sector compared to rail.
In Continental Europe, like-for-like sales continued to be held back by slower passenger growth in the Nordic countries and the impact of airport redevelopment activity in this region and in Spain.
In North America, like-for-like sales growth was driven by increasing passenger numbers, although some of our airports have been impacted by the grounding of Boeing Max 737 aircraft and the transfer of passengers away from our terminals.
In the Rest of the World, like for like sales growth has been mixed, with good performances in Egypt and the Middle East slightly offset, as anticipated, by the cessation of operations at Jet Airways in India and slower growth in China. Looking forward to the rest of the year, we anticipate like-for-like sales growth for the Group to be around 2%.
Net contract gains were good, driven by Continental Europe and North America, where the mobilisation of new contracts has been slightly ahead of schedule. Looking forward, SSP expects net gains in the full year to be slightly ahead of our expectations at around 5%, and as usual they will be accompanied by pre- opening costs.
For the nine month period from 1 October 2018 to 30 June 2019, total Group revenues increased by 7.6%, including LFL sales growth of 2%, net contract gains of 5.2% and the acquisition impact of Stockheim of 0.4%. At actual exchange rates, total Group revenue increased by 8.3% year on year.