Travel caterer SSP has reported a 7.3% increase in total group revenue driven by airport growth in its third quarter results.
For the third quarter of its financial year, covering the period 1 April to 30 June 2018, the group's revenues comprised like-for-like sales growth of 2.7% and net contract gains of 3.3%, which it described as a "good third quarter" and "further encouraging progress".
It said like-for-like sales growth in the UK and Continental Europe was broadly in line with the first half of the year, driven by ongoing growth in the air sector, while trading in the rail sector continues to be softer. The group saw "good improvement" in its operating margin during the period.
Looking ahead, the company anticipates like-for-like sales growth to remain in the region of 2%-3%.
For the nine-month period from 1 October 2017 to 30 June 2018, SSP's financial year to date, total group revenues increased by 10.2%, including like-for-like sales growth of 2.8%, net contract gains of 5.6% and revenues from acquisitions of 1.8%.
The group said: "While a degree of uncertainty always exists around passenger numbers in the short term, we are well placed to continue to benefit from the structural growth opportunities in our markets and to create further shareholder value."
SSP's results for the group's full financial year ending 30 September 2018 are expected to be released on 21 November 2018.