LEGAL | Staff Reporter, UK

Upper Crust owner says weekly sales down to 24% of normal levels

The business has now reopened just over a third of its units.

Transport hub operator SSP Group said its weekly sales are running at just 24% compared to a year ago.

The company, which owns the Upper Crust and Cafe Ritazza brands, said the business has now reopened just over a third of its units, which equates to around 1,000 sites.

It adds that its approach to unit openings continues to be “systematic”, with sites only being opened selectively and where they will achieve break-even levels of sales, even at low levels of passenger activity.

Overall sales in the second half of the year are expected to be approximately 86% lower year-on-year, resulting in revenue decline of around £1.3 billion compared to last year.

Despite weaker sales, SSP said the operating loss in the second half is likely to be in the middle of the £180 to £250 million range it previously forecast.

“We have seen some improvement in passenger demand since the start of the crisis and we have reopened units swiftly and profitably in response to this, with over one third of our units now trading. Our model is flexible and we will continue to align unit openings with demand, meeting the needs of our customers whilst managing operating costs and cash flow tightly,” SSP Group CEO Simon Smith said.

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