SSP Group boosts H1 pretax profit by almost 50%

SSP Group has posted a statutory H1 pretax profit up 48.6% to £33.0m, with operating profit gaining 39.8% to £41.8m.

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

Like-for-like sales growth was 2.9% in the half, versus 3.3% in the same period a year ago. Underlying operating margin was 4.0%, from 3.4%.

"The second half has started in line with our expectations and the pipeline of new contracts is encouraging," the company said.

"We expect a similar contribution from net gains in the second half, although it is always difficult to predict the precise timing of the opening of new units."

Looking forward, with the current level of general economic and geopolitical uncertainty, SSP said it continued to plan cautiously, anticipating slightly lower like-for-like revenue growth, and on-going increases in food and labour inflation in the second half.

"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."

At 9:49am: (LON:SSPG) SSP Group Plc share price was +10.75p at 468.55p