SSP maintains dividend despite first half profit drop on rising costs

(Alliance News) - SSP Group PLC on Tuesday said half-year profit fell on increased costs despite ...

Alliance News 21 May, 2024 | 9:29AM
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(Alliance News) - SSP Group PLC on Tuesday said half-year profit fell on increased costs despite rising revenue, though the company maintained its interim dividend.

In the six months ended March 31, the London-based travel food outlet operator said pretax profit fell 19% to GBP12.8 million from GBP15.8 million a year earlier.

This was despite revenue rising 15% to GBP1.52 billion from GBP1.32 billion, as operating costs rose 15% to GBP1.46 billion from GBP1.27 billion.

Finance income fell 21% to GBP8.9 million from GBP11.2 million and SSP's share of profit of associates fell 75% to GBP600,000 from GBP2.4 million, while finance expense rose 17% to GBP54.4 million from GBP46.4 million.

Despite a falling bottom-line, SSP maintained its first half dividend at 1.2 pence per share.

"The first half has been a period of continued momentum, and we've made good strategic and financial progress. At constant currency, the group delivered double-digit sales growth in all our geographies around the world - with an exceptionally strong like-for-like sales performance in [Asia-Pacific] and [Europe, Eurasia and the Middle East]," said Chief Executive Officer Patrick Coveney.

"Our momentum is being supported by tailwinds from the high structural growth of the markets in which we operate, our proven ability to win and retain high-returning contracts and by our value creating acquisitions."

Since the half year-end, SSP said it has been trading in line with expectations, with revenue during the first six weeks of the second half up 14% from a year earlier on a constant currency basis. Revenue in North America is up 28%, Continental Europe up 5%, UK up 9% and APAC & EEME up 25%.

Looking ahead, Coveney continued: "Trading momentum has continued into the second half, and we are confident in delivering on our expectations for the full year. In particular, we are well set to capitalise on what we anticipate will be a summer of strong demand in all our markets - including Continental Europe, where the Olympics and the European Championships will help boost footfall in airports and stations. We will also start to realise the benefit of our latest value-creating acquisition in Australia and new market entries in New Zealand and Indonesia.

"With our continued momentum and foundations in place for further expansion, we remain confident in our ability to deliver sustainable, compounding growth and returns for all our stakeholders in the years to come."

Shares in SSP were down 6.8% to 194.60 pence each in London on Tuesday morning.

By Greg Rosenvinge, Alliance News senior reporter

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Securities Mentioned in Article

Security Name Price Change (%) Morningstar
SSP Group PLC 168.60 GBX -0.53 -

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