Travel caterer cooks up strong sales rise

Kasmira Jefford
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SSP, the airport and railway station caterer, yesterday reported a 3.2 per cent rise in annual sales, boosted by its expansion in Asia and the US.

The group, which runs more than 2,100 travel outlets for brands such as Marks & Spencer and Starbucks, said operating profit jumped 23.7 per cent to £61.5m on sales of £1.74bn in the year to 30 September.

Like-for-like sales rose 2.7 per cent.

SSP was spun off from catering giant Compass in 2006 in a £1.3bn management buyout backed by EQT, the Swedish private equity firm. It also owns brands including Upper Crust, Camden Food and opened a pub called The Merchant at Liverpool Street station in March.

The group has been targeting the US and China with recent contract wins at Phoenix and JFK airports and at Hangzhou and Xian airports.