, UK

SSP Group sees strengthened trading ahead despite 2021 sales drop

Sales in December 2021 ran at approximately 63% of 2019 levels.

SSP Group, which owns railway and airport food-to-go brands including Upper Crust and Ritazza, said its UK trading has strengthened since its financial year end despite sales dropping 53.7% for 2021.

According to its results for the 12 months up to 30 September 2021, the multinational group posted a UK revenue of £190 million, compared with £410.1m for the previous year. Underlying operating loss in the UK for 2021 was £52.2 million – a 81.9% jump on 2020’s deficit of £28.7 million – whilst the previous year’s reported operating loss of £39 million increased 47.2% to £57.4 million.

During the first half of its 2021 financial year, the group’s UK operations were hit hard by lockdown restrictions and quarantine measures. The operator, however, reported a steady improvement in trading in the third quarter as the UK government’s roadmap out of lockdown began to take effect, with sales improving to approximately 19% of 2019 levels for Q3.

The trend continued through the fourth quarter with revenue going up to 43% of 2019 levels.

Sales in December 2021 ran at approximately 63% of 2019 levels, and 61% of 2020’s figures.

Last November, SSP said that Greencore CEO Patrick Coveney would take over from Simon Smith as CEO by 31 March 2022.

“Sales recovered significantly in the second half of the year led by domestic and leisure travel. SSP colleagues have shown incredible resilience and flexibility and really lived our values during this crisis and I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their unwavering support,” Smith added.

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