Travel concession operator SSP Group announced a new partnership with Leon today, as it turned in a 41.5% hike in pre-tax profits and a like-for-like sales increase of 3.3% in its half-year report.
The five-year deal with Leon, which pitches itself as a "naturally fast food retailer", will see its first SSP-operated stores open in London's Liverpool Street and Paddington stations later this year.
SSP attributed its performance in the six months to 31 March to the continued strength in air passenger numbers, development of its brand portfolio, new contract openings and operational improvements.
The company reported revenue of £896.7m, up 4.4% at actual exchange rates on the same period last year, and operating profit of £30.9m up 28% at constant currency and 22.6% at actual exchange rates.
A spokeswoman said that air passenger numbers have continued to grow in the USA. "It is still a strong market and we expect to see that continue," she said.
However, she conceded that the rail sector in the UK and mainland Europe has been weaker following the Paris and Brussels terrorist acts.
SSP CEO Kate Swann commented: "The second half has started in line with our expectations. Whilst a degree of uncertainty always exists around passenger numbers in the short term, we are well placed to benefit from the structural growth opportunities in our markets and to create further shareholder value."
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