,UK

Upper Crust owner SSP sees revenues improve

60% of its outlets are open now compared to 30% at the end of March.

SSP Group said it is trading profitably in recent weeks as customers return to its outlets in travel-related locations.

By the end of September, the owner of the Caffe Ritazza and Upper Crust brands said it had reopened 60% of its outlets compared to 30% at the end of March.

More outlets will open as passenger numbers improve, it added.

SSP will post an underlying profit [EBITDA] in the final three months of this year due to cost controls and the improvement in revenue and will broadly break-even in the second half. It also expects to generate cash in the second half, helped by payment deferrals due to COVID-19.

In the third quarter to end-July, revenue improved to 27% of 2019 levels and in the fourth quarter is expected to be around 47%, with its latest week running at approximately 53%.

Next year, to September 2022, SSP said it expects to produce a full-year underlying profit but now sees sales recovering slightly slower than before, with the final outcome dependent also on cost inflation, labour availability and the extent of government support schemes.

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