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Resurgent air passenger traffic puts SSP Group on course for strong full-year sales

SSP’s strategic focus on the fast-growing North America and Asia Pacific markets and recovering air passenger traffic are expected to deliver revenues in the region of £3bn ($3.7bn)

SSP Group operates licensed stores of Starbucks, Peet’s Coffee, LEON and The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf | Photo credit: SSP Group


SSP Group expects to reach the upper-end of its full-year revenue outlook following strong trading in North America, Egypt and India across the last six months. 

As part of a ‘Pre-Close Trading Update’ in advance of its financial year-end on 30 September 2023, the global travel concession operator forecast full-year sales will reach £3bn ($3.7bn) – 37% higher than the previous year and 16% above pre-pandemic levels.  

The business, which operates food and beverage outlets in travel hubs across 36 markets, said a resurgence in passenger numbers, particularly at airports, is currently the key driver of its sales growth. International travel reached 90% of pre-pandemic levels this year, according to the International Air Transport Association.

Price increases and net contract gains have also been contributors to sales growth, SSP Group added. 

Sales in North America, which generate 25% of SSP Group’s revenue, are expected to reach 127% of 2019 levels by the end of the month, boosted by the acquisition of the Midfield Concession business in May 2023.  

SSP Group also forecasts robust sales in its Rest of the World segment, led by strong performances in India and Egypt and the recovery of domestic and international travel across Asia Pacific. Rest of the World revenues are expected to rise to 132% of pre-pandemic levels. 

In Continental Europe, the group said sales are likely to rise to 115% of 2019 levels, with high volumes of summer air travel offset by the impact of protests and travel disruption in France. Sales in the UK and Ireland are expected to return to pre-pandemic levels, despite a succession of rail strikes hindering commuter footfall. 

“We are enjoying a good finish to the year, and there is real momentum across the business as we enter FY2024. 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 Patrick Coveney, CEO, SSP Group. 

While acknowledging that ‘elevated levels of inflation’ are likely to carry forward into its new financial year, SSP Group expects demand for travel will remain ‘resilient to pressures on consumer spending’. The business forecasts its full-year revenues will rise to £3.4bn ($4.1bn) in 2024. 

SSP Group owns the Upper Crust, Ritazza and Camden Food Co. Brands. It also operates licensed stores of Starbucks, Peet’s Coffee, LEON and The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf

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