New initiatives and passenger numbers drive SSP UK growth

Group revenue at Starbucks and Upper Crust travel sites operator SSP grew 13.5% in the last quarter of 2017.

The business, which last year opened its first Knead concept store at London’s Euston station in partnership with Paul Hollywood, reported that like-for-like sales growth in the UK and Continental Europe had been in line with expectations. Its performance had been driven by the ongoing roll-out of strategic initiatives and increasing passenger numbers.

SSP said passenger growth had driven sales in North America, although business had been affected by changes in airline routes in the second half of 2017.

Total group revenue increased 13.5% on a constant currency basis, made up of 2.7% like-for-like sales growth and 8.1% net contract gains. The acquisition of a joint venture in India added a further 2.7% to sales.

Looking forward to the full year, the business said its expected like-for-like sales growth for the group to remain unchanged between 2% and 3%.

“Net contract gains were driven by significant contributions from North America and the rest of the world,” stated SSP. “Looking forward, after a good start in the first quarter, an encouraging pipeline of new contracts and the deferral of redevelopments at some of our airports, we anticipate net contract gains for the group to be approximately 4% for the full year.

“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, we continue to be well placed to benefit from the structural growth opportunities in our markets.”

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