SSP, the leading food operator in travel locations worldwide, saw like-for-like sales (LFLs) grow by 3.7% in the UK in its first half.

Announcing its interim results for the six months to 31 March 2014 it said that its UK revenue has decreased slightly by 0.3% on a constant currency basis.

The company, which runs brands like Upper Crust and Delice de France, said the LFL growth had been driven by continued growth in UK airport passenger numbers and increased spend per passenger. The net contract losses were primarily a consequence of the previously reported loss of a rail on-board catering contract part way through 2014.

Underlying operating profit for the UK increased by 37.4% to £18m, while underlying operating margin increased by 1.5% to 5.3%.

Globally revenue was up 2.6% on a constant currency basis to £859.2m and operating profit was £25.2m. 

Kate Swann, chief executive of SSP Group, said: “Our confidence in the future is supported by our increasing investment in the business and by the further strengthening of the portfolio of brands and concepts we offer to our clients. The second half of the financial year has started in line with our expectations, and whilst a degree of uncertainty always exists around passenger numbers in the short-term, we continue to be well positioned to benefit from the underlying positive trends in our markets."