Source - Alliance News

SSP Group PLC on Thursday said it expects revenue in the last 16 weeks of its financial year to be 16% higher than levels seen during the equivalent period in 2019 before the Covid-19 pandemic.

Despite this, shares in SSP were down 8.0% to 225.16 pence each in London on Thursday morning.

In the sixteen weeks that will end on Saturday next week, the London-based travel food and beverage outlet operator said it expects revenue to be around 16% higher than 2019 levels on a constant currency basis.

This represents an underlying improvement in trading since its June trading statement covering the 10-week period from April 1 to June 11, SSP said, where trading was 12% higher than 2019 levels on a constant currency basis.

SSP pointed to continued recovery in passenger numbers, particularly in the air sector, as well as ‘our stronger customer offer and digital proposition’. This is alongside revenue benefitting from price increases and further net contract gains.

SSP particularly highlighted revenue performance in North America, which now accounts for around 25% of group revenue. Over the last 16 weeks, revenues are expected to be up 27% from 2019 levels on a constant currency basis.

Continental Europe revenue is expected to be up 15% from 2019 levels, on a constant currency basis, which SSP said driven by strong summer air travel volume and despite protests and travel disruption in France.

In the Rest of the World, revenue is expected to be up 32% from 2019 levels, noting further improvements in passenger numbers across the Asia Pacific region, particularly in India and Egypt.

In UK & Ireland, revenue is expected to improve to roughly level with 2019 levels, citing both improving performance and a higher mix of the air channel, and despite the rail sector continuing to be affected by ongoing industrial action.

For the second half of its financial 2023 as a whole, SSP said it expects group revenue to be up 22% from a year earlier. In the full-year, it expects revenue to be up 37% to around £3.0 billion from £2.2 billion.

‘We are enjoying a good finish to the year, and there is real momentum across the business as we enter [financial] 2024. Our focus on higher growth markets such as North America and Asia Pacific, as well as our ongoing efforts to enhance our capabilities and increase efficiencies, is delivering strong results. Looking ahead, we continue to see significant opportunities for SSP to drive growth and returns,’ said SSP Chief Executive Officer Patrick Coveney.

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