Travel hub concession operator appoints former Greencore Group CEO lead the group’s recovery from the pandemic
Patrick Coveney has been CEO of Ireland-based convenience food manufacturer, Greencore Group, since 2008 | Photo credit: Greencore Group
SSP Group has appointed Patrick Coveney as its new CEO. Coveney will take up the role from March 2022 following the announcement in July 2021 that outgoing SSP CEO Simon Smith would be stepping down at the end of the year.
Coveney joins SSP Group from his role as CEO of Ireland-based convenience food manufacturer, Greencore Group, a position he has held since 2008.
In a press statement, SSP Group praised Coveney’s leadership in transforming Greencore into ‘an international leader in value added convenience food, most notably in food-to-go’.
“We are pleased to announce the appointment of Patrick who will join us as we emerge from the pandemic with considerable momentum. Patrick is a strong and strategic leader, combining this with proven financial and operational experience in some of the most competitive categories in the food sector. His customer and colleague focus make him ideally placed to lead SSP to future success,” said Mike Clasper, SSP’s Chair of the Board.
“I am absolutely delighted to be appointed as SSP’s next Group CEO as it builds back from the pandemic. “The business has a strong Board, a highly experienced leadership team and thousands of dedicated colleagues across the world. It also has a clear strategy, deep relationships with client and brand partners, and a robust balance sheet,” said Coveney.
Coveney faces an uphill challenge to rebuild SSP Group, which saw revenues plummet 90% in July 2020 as global travel restrictions shuttered most of the group’s travel hub concession stores around the world.
Even as global travel has picked up pace in 2021, SSP Group’s third quarter revenues were just 27% of 2019 levels. In September 2021, the group said 60% of its outlets were open worldwide, up from 30% in the first half of the year, and that it was on track to return to pre-Covid revenues in 2024.
SSP Group operates around 2,800 food and beverage outlets at 300 railway stations and 180 airports in 36 countries. It runs its own café brands, such as Caffè Ritazza, Upper Crust and Camden Food Co., in addition to licensed brands including Starbucks, Pret A Manger, and Burger King.