SSP, which operates UK travel sites for brands including Starbucks and Upper Crust, has reported a 2.7% increase in like-for-like sales in its third quarter.

The company said like-for-like growth in the period from 1 April to 30 June 2018 in the UK and Continental Europe had been broadly in line with the first half of the year, driven by continued growth in the air sector.

But the company added that, as expected, trading in the rail sector continued to be weaker, and had also been impacted by strike action in France.

SSP said total group revenue had increased by 7.3% on a constant currency basis. At actual exchange rates, the relative strength of sterling against most currencies meant total group revenues rose 5.8% year-on-year.

“We have seen a good improvement in the operating margin in the third quarter, driven by the ongoing roll-out of our strategic initiatives, with operating margin growth a little ahead of that seen in the first half,” stated SSP.

“Looking forward, whilst a degree of uncertainty always exists around passenger numbers in the short term, we are well placed to continue to benefit from the structural growth opportunities in our markets and to create further shareholder value.”

SSP last year opened its first Knead concept store at London’s Euston station in partnership with Paul Hollywood.