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SSP set for strong 2024 following encouraging first quarter momentum

The global travel concession operator forecasts a positive second quarter after posting double-digit like-for-like sales growth across all four of its reporting segments

SSP highlighted an especially strong performance in Spain, where it operates across 13 airports | Photo credit: SSP Group


SSP Group has credited robust leisure travel demand globally as driving its strong first quarter sales, particularly in North America and Asia Pacific. 

Reporting on the three months ending 31 December 2023, SSP Group achieved 17.7% sales growth to £788m ($999m), with like-for-like sales increasing 14.3%. 

The travel concession operator, which operates 2,900 food and beverage travel hub outlets across 37 markets globally, said total sales in North America grew 23% to reach £186m ($236m) and 17% across Asia Pacific to £113m ($143m).

Rising airport passenger numbers in India also boosted SSP’s licensed Krispy Kreme, Au Bon Pain and The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf stores in the country. 

The largest contributing market segments to SSP Group’s first quarter revenues were Continental Europe and the UK and Ireland, which achieved 11.5% and 17% same-store sales growth respectively to reach £282m ($357m) and £207m ($262m).  

In Continental Europe SSP highlighted an especially strong performance in Spain, where it operates licensed Starbucks, Tim Hortons and SOHO Coffee Co. outlets across 13 airports nationwide. 

“There continues to be encouraging momentum in our key growth markets of North America and Asia Pacific and we have also delivered double-digit like-for-like growth in our more established markets of the UK & Ireland and Continental Europe. Global demand for travel continues to grow and we have a strong pipeline of secured new contracts around the world. We remain confident in our prospects for the balance of FY24 and beyond,” said Patrick Coveney, CEO, SSP Group. 

SSP Group also renewed and won new business in Canada, Thailand and India during the quarter. In December 2023, the group announced a new contract for Jeddah Airport in Saudi Arabia, which will see it operate 26 units for an initial period of between five and seven years.  

The global travel concession operator expects demand for travel will remain resilient throughout 2024 with inflationary pressures on operating costs set to be mitigated through operational efficiency savings and higher pricing. SSP Group is forecasting full-year sales growth of up to 10% and underlying operating profit within the range of £210-£235m ($266-$298m).  

SSP Group posted annual sales of £3bn ($3.8bn) in the 12 months ended 30 September 2023, a 38% increase on the previous year. 

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