- Food travel operator SSP Group booked a 6.2% rise in first-half profit, driven by growth in air passenger numbers and as it expanded its store footprint.

Pre-tax profit for the six months through March rose to £51.4m, up from £48.4m on-year. Underlying pre-tax profit was up 14.6% to £62.5m.

Revenue rose 6.8% to £1.26m.

SSP declared an interim divided of 5.8p per share, up 21% on-year.

'SSP has delivered another good performance in the first half of 2019, driven by strong sales growth, significant new contract openings across the world and our programme of operational improvements,' chief executive Kate Swann said.

'We have continued to grow our global presence, particularly in North America and Asia, and we have further expanded our operations in Latin America.'

'These are high growth markets for SSP and present us with exciting opportunities.'

'Given this positive momentum, we are today raising our expectations for net gains in the second half of the year.'

'Looking forward, the second half has started well and whilst a degree of uncertainty always exists around passenger numbers in the short term, we continue to be well placed to benefit from the structural growth opportunities in our markets and our programme of operational improvements.'

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