SSP kicks off Q1 with 7.6% revenue rise

SSP, the travel food and beverage outlet operator, has issued its trading update for the first quarter of its financial year ending 30 September 2019, covering the period from 1 October to 31 December 2018.

Total group revenue increased by 7.6%, with like-for-like sales growth of 2.5% and net contract gains of 3.8%. The acquisition of Stockheim added a further 1.3% to sales.

The trends in like-for-like sales growth in the first quarter of the year were similar to those seen last year in the UK, North America and the Rest of the World. Like-for-like sales growth in Continental Europe was impacted by the recent protests in France towards the end of the quarter and by redevelopment activity at some of our sites.

Looking forward to the full year, the expectation for like-for-like sales growth for the group remains unchanged, at between 2% and 3%.

Net contract gains at 3.8% were slightly ahead of our expectations and were driven by significant contributions from North America and the Rest of the World.

Looking forward to the rest of FY 2019, the latest expectation is for net gains to be a little ahead of SSP's previous guidance of c.3%, largely a reflection of new contract wins in the first quarter, particularly in North America.

The new financial year has started well and the pipeline of new contracts is encouraging. Whilst a degree of uncertainty always exists around passenger numbers in the short term, SSP continues to be well placed to benefit from the structural growth opportunities in its markets.