SSP Group, the operator of food and beverage outlets in travel locations worldwide, has announced its financial results for the year ended 30 September 2019.
- Underlying operating profit of £221.1m: up 12.1% at constant currency, and 13.3% at actual exchange rates.
- Revenue of £2,794.6m: up 7.8% at constant currency, and 9.0% at actual exchange rates.
- Strong net gains of 5.6%: driven by North America and Continental Europe.
- Like-for-like sales up 1.9%: driven by growth in passenger numbers, both in air and rail.
- Underlying operating margin up 30 basis points at constant currency, driven by further progress on our strategic initiatives.
- Underlying profit before tax of £203.2m: up 10.2%.
- Reported profit before tax of £197.2m, up 7.8%.
- Underlying basic earnings per share of 29.1 pence: up 15.9%.
- Reported basic earnings per share of 28.1 pence, up 12.9%.
- Final dividend of 6.0 pence per share, bringing the full year ordinary dividend to 11.8 pence per share: up 15.7%, reflecting a payout ratio of 40%.
- Underlying operating cash inflow of £67.9m, after another year of record capital investment of £185.0m.
- Encouraging pipeline, with significant new contracts underpinning future growth, including in North America at LaGuardia, San Jose and Ottawa Airports and in the Rest of the World at Brisbane, Shenzhen, and Hongqiao Airports; and entry into three new markets next year: Bahrain, Bermuda and Malaysia.
- Share buyback of up to £100m, underpinning our confidence in the business and our commitment to maintain an efficient balance sheet.
Commenting on the results, Simon Smith, CEO of SSP Group, said: “SSP has delivered another strong performance in 2019. Operating profit was up 12% at constant currency, driven by solid like-for-like sales growth despite some external headwinds, significant new contract openings and further operational improvements. We continue to grow our business in North America, and have made good progress expanding in Continental Europe. In the Rest of the World, we have grown in India and the Philippines, and have entered Brazil, a new market for us, with further market entries planned in Bermuda, Bahrain and Malaysia. The new business pipeline is strong across all our geographies both this year and next, and we’ve announced a £100m share buyback which further demonstrates our confidence in the future of the business.
“The new 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 placed to benefit from the structural growth opportunities in our markets and to create value for our shareholders.”