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SSP Group PLC

SSP Group Good performance in the first half of 2019, driven by strong sales growth

SSP Group (LON:SSPG), a leading operator of food and beverage outlets in travel locations worldwide, announced its financial results for the first half of its 2019 financial year, covering the six months ended 31 March 2019.

Highlights:

● Underlying operating profit1 of £62.5m: up 14.6% at constant currency2, and 13.2% at actual exchange rates

● Revenue of £1,261.6m: up 6.8% at constant currency; 7.1% at actual exchange rates

● Like-for-like sales3 up 2.0%: driven by air passenger travel and retail initiatives

● Net gains4 of 4.1%: strong performances in Continental Europe, North America and the Rest of the World

● Underlying operating margin1 up 30 basis points to 5.0% at constant currency, strategic initiatives delivering well

● Underlying profit before tax1 of £54.2m: up 11.3%. Reported profit before tax of £51.4m

● Underlying earnings per share1 of 6.7 pence: up 19.6%. Reported earnings per share of 6.1 pence

● Capital investment of £108.2m, reflecting the significant new contract opening programme, which has been first half weighted in 2019

● Encouraging pipeline of new contracts with wins in North America, Brazil, India, Spain and France

● Interim dividend of 5.8 pence per share, up 20.8 %. This follows the completion of the c. £150m special dividend and share consolidation in April 2019

Commenting on the results, Kate Swann, CEO of SSP Group said:

“SSP has delivered another good performance in the first half of 2019, driven by strong sales growth, significant new contract openings across the world and our programme of operational improvements. We have continued to grow our global presence, particularly in North America and Asia, and we have further expanded our operations in Latin America. These are high growth markets for SSP and present us with exciting opportunities. Given this positive momentum, we are today raising our expectations for net gains in the second half of the year.

“Looking forward, the second half has started well and whilst a degree of uncertainty always exists around passenger numbers in the short term, we continue to be well placed to benefit from the structural growth opportunities in our markets and our programme of operational improvements.”