Upper Crust owner SSP has said it expects revenue to be at the higher side of previous guidance this year as it benefited from a recovery in air travel.
The company said revenue and underlying earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (ebitda) would “be at the upper of the planning assumptions provided… in December 2022″.
In a statement to shareholders the food business cited a “continued recovery in passenger numbers” for why revenues have strengthened in recent months.
It said it expects that revenue for mid-June to the end of September will be 16 per cent higher than the same period last year when offsetting for currency changes.
This is better than in the 10 weeks to 11 June, when revenue was only up 12 per cent year-on-year.
But when taking into account currency fluctuations the business said revenue was only up 10 per cent in both periods.
“Our revenue performance is being driven by the continued recovery in passenger numbers, particularly in the air sector, as well as our stronger customer offer and digital proposition,” it said.
“In addition, revenues have benefited from price increases and further net contract gains.”
Revenue is expected to hit around £3bn, the company told shareholders, with underlying ebitda at £280m.
However earnings per share will be towards the lower end of the 7-7.5p that had been previously indicated.
Shares in the company were down 8.3 per cent after the update.
The company said it had struggled in part due to the strengthening of the pound against other currencies it earns.
Chief executive Patrick Coveney said: “We are enjoying a good finish to the year, and there is real momentum across the business as we enter the 2024 financial year.
“Our focus on higher growth markets such as North America and Asia Pacific, as well as our ongoing efforts to enhance our capabilities and increase efficiencies, is delivering strong results.
“Looking ahead, we continue to see significant opportunities for SSP to drive growth and returns.”
August Graham – PA