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SSP swings to £423m loss but remains optimistic

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Upper Crust owner, SSP, has swung to a £425.8m in the year ended 30 September.

As the pandemic hit sales and affected the travel food operator through a huge reduction in passenger numbers, the group’s profits fell from last year’s profits of £197.2m.

Revenue plunged 47.9% to £1.43bn and like-for-like sales were down 50.8%.

SSP is a FTSE 250 company that owns brands found at train stations and airports including Upper Crust and Caffe Ritazza. The group has over 3,000 retailers across the UK, currently, just 950 are trading.

Looking forward, the group has said that it expects sales for the first quarter of 2021 to be approximately 80% down year-on-year. However, SPP remains confident for the second half of 2021 as the Covid-19 vaccine is rolled out and will boost the travel sector.

The group said in an update: “Looking further out, we firmly believe that demand for travel will return and the actions we have taken since March, together with the evolving market backdrop, will ensure SSP is well positioned to capitalise on future market opportunities.”

The chief executive, Simon Smith, commented on the latest results:

“Whilst we expect passenger numbers to remain subdued over the winter, we are optimistic that, alongside good progress with the vaccination programme, we will see a significant upturn in both domestic and international travel from the spring.

“We are ready to respond quickly. The actions we are taking to rebuild the business will put us in a strong position to capitalise on the recovery as well as future new business opportunities, enabling us to deliver long term sustainable growth for the benefit of all our stakeholders,” he added.

SSP shares (LON: SSPG) are currently trading 2.21% lower at 319.00 (1432GMT). In the year to date, shares have fallen from highs of 326.78.