SSP Group improves FY statutory pretax profit

SSP Group has improved its FY statutory pretax profit to £105.6m, from £76.8m. Revenue totalled £1.99bn, from £1.83bn.

Total dividend per share was 5.4p, from 4.3p. This included a final dividend of 2.9p.

"The Group delivered a strong financial performance in the year with good like-for-like sales growth, net gains and improvement in operating margin," it said in a statement.

"The new financial year has started in line with our expectations and the pipeline of new contracts is encouraging, although it is always difficult to predict the precise timing of the opening of these new units.

"Looking forward to 2017, with tough like-for-like sales comparatives in the first half of the year and the current level of general economic uncertainty, we anticipate slightly lower like-for-like revenue growth next year.

"However the significant structural growth opportunities and our programme to deliver operational improvements, leave us well placed to continue to deliver both for our customers and our shareholders."

HIGHLIGHTS:

- Underlying operating profit of £121.4m: up 18.2% at constant currency, and 24.6% at actual exchange rates

- Like-for-like sales up 3.0%: driven by growth in air passenger travel and retailing initiatives

- Net gains of 1.7%: strong performances in North America and the Rest of the World

- Underlying operating margin up 70 basis points at constant currency to 6.1%: strategic initiatives delivering further improvements

- Underlying profit before tax of £107.5m: up 31.1%. Reported profit before tax of £105.6m

- Underlying earnings per share of 15.5 pence: up 26.0%. Reported earnings per share of 15.2 pence

- Underlying operating cash inflow of £78.3m, after increased investment in the business

- Brand and concept portfolio further strengthened

- Encouraging pipeline of new contracts