Friday 19 July 2019 8:23 am

Upper Crust owner SSP takes hit from Boeing 737 Max ban

UK-based airport restaurant operator SSP today revealed its revenue rose by nine per cent in the second quarter despite it being hit by the Boeing 737 Max groundings.

The Boeing 737 Max planes, which first flew in 2016, have been out of the air since March after crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia killed 346 people.

Read more: Boeing sets aside $5bn to compensate airlines for its banned 737 Max plane

SSP said the groundings had resulted in lower footfall in terminals where it has businesses. Boeing said yesterday it faced a total of $4.9bn (£3.9bn) in costs in the second quarter due to disruptions.

SSP, which owns pastry shop Upper Crust, said like-for-like sales were in line with expectations in the UK in a trading statement today.

But it said sales were slower in continental Europe where weak growth in passenger numbers and airport redevelopments acted as a drag.

The company said good second quarter performances in Egypt and the Middle East were slightly offset by the closing of Jet Airways in India and slower growth in China.

On a constant currency basis, overall like-for-like sales grew two per cent in the first quarter.

“Net contract gains were good, driven by Continental Europe and North America, where the mobilisation of new contracts has been slightly ahead of schedule,” SSP said.

Read more: Ryanair warns of service cuts thanks to Boeing's prolonged plane ban

“Looking forward to the full year, our expectations remain unchanged and whilst a degree of uncertainty always exists around passenger numbers in the short term, we continue to benefit from the structural growth opportunities in our markets and to create further shareholder value.”