Kate Swann is to step down as CEO of travel site operator SPP Group after five years with the business.

Swann will remain in the role until 31 May 2019 when she will be succeeded by Simon Smith, currently CEO of the business’ UK and Ireland operations. SSP said Smith and Swann will work closely together over the next six months to ensure a smooth transition.

The news comes as SSP – which operates a number of UK travel sites for brands including Starbucks and Upper Crust – published its full-year results today (21 November).

“Today we’ve announced another record set of results, growing earnings a further 24% and proposing £150m return of cash to shareholders, so I am stepping down at a time when the business is clearly in great shape, with a strong senior management team and enormous future growth potential,” said Swann.

Smith joined SSP Group in 2014 and, since then, his role has expanded to allow him to take on wider global leadership responsibilities, most recently looking after the integration and development of the company’s joint venture business in India, which has delivered “excellent results”.

Prior to that, Smith worked at WH Smith for 10 years, most recently as managing director of its travel division.

“Simon’s strong leadership skills combined with his considerable experience in the food travel and retail space, as well as his track record at SSP, make him well placed to lead SSP to continued future success,” said Vagn Sørensen, SSP Group chairman.