SSP revenues hit by stronger UK currency

Edith Hancock
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Kate Swann has seen shares grow at SSP over the years
TRAVEL food-stop company SSP Group yesterday said that currency changes had made a big impact on what should be a successful year.

SSP has seen a good year of trading so far, with total revenues increasing by 4.1 per cent on a constant currency basis according to its third-quarter trading update released yesterday.

Unfortunately for the company, changes in currency values meant that revenue decreased by 0.1 per cent since last year.

Since the start of the financial year the group has seen a real-terms revenue drop of 0.5 per cent.

SSP Group has 20 brands in its portfolio, supplying the transportation industry with food outlets, including M&S Simply Food, Upper Crust and Burger King.

SSP say that sterling’s growth this year compared with European currencies was to blame for the trading dip.

SSP said that, despite the real-terms shortfall, “currency movements have a translation impact only”. The company has not changed its expectations for the rest of this year’s trade. It said: “The group remains well positioned to capitalise on the underlying positive trends in its markets.”

Investors disagreed – shares fell 0.5 per cent yesterday morning to 302.3p in reaction to the drop. But normal trading re­sumed by close of play, with shares back up to 305p.

SSP Group has been run by chief executive Kate Swann for two years. In 2012, Swann received awards for her transformation of WH Smith, turning losses of £135m into a £106m profit in 10 years.

SSP’s share price has risen significantly since last year, up by 38 per cent on July 2014.