SSP reports losses of nearly £300m

09 June 2021 by
SSP reports losses of nearly £300m

Travel food caterer SSP Group has reported losses of £299.7m in its financial results for the six months to 31 March 2021.

The group also reported revenues of £256.7m, down 78.8%, and like-for-like sales down 79%. The company's net debt was £2b, with cash and undrawn committed facilities of approximately £854m, following a £450.8m rights issue in April. Like-for-like revenues are not expected to return to pre-Covid levels until 2024 with the group burning through around £20m-25m every month.

Around 1,150 of its sites have reopened with the expectation that 1,200-1,500 units will open over the summer. In the first week of June, sales were down 70% against 2019. Its UK business specifically saw revenue decrease by 87.8%.

Since the end of March, SSP said it had seen some improvement in trading, driven by the gradual easing of lockdown restrictions in the UK and improving passenger numbers, particularly in North America. However, renewed travel restrictions, particularly in India and Thailand, have hit sales.

Simon Smith, chief executive of SSP Group, said: "Despite the challenging trading conditions SSP has continued to deliver strong operational and cash control. Our teams have continued to give their utmost during this period, and I would like to thank them for their commitment and dedication.

"The recovery in domestic and leisure travel has now begun in a number of our territories, and our teams are busy reopening units in line with passenger demand.

"Over the past year we've strengthened our competitive advantages and created a more flexible operating model. We have a strong balance sheet and can see many opportunities to accelerate growth as the market recovers and to deliver sustainable growth for the benefit of all our stakeholders."

SSP operates food and beverage concessions in airports, train stations and motorway service stations. Prior to the onset of Covid-19, it served around one and a half million customers every day at approximately 180 airports and 300 rail stations in 35 countries around the world and operated more than 550 international, national and local brands.

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