Home Estate Planning Upper Crust: Owner backs guidance but warns of potential hit from train strikes

Upper Crust: Owner backs guidance but warns of potential hit from train strikes

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Upper Crust owner SSP Group today reported strong sales boosted by a resilient demand for air and train travel, but warned of a potential future hit from ongoing train strikes. 

Shares in the firm rose over three per cent this morning as investors responded positively to its 21.2 per cent rise in group sales between October and December last year.

In the UK and Ireland, like-for-like sales rose over 17 per cent to £207m during the period thanks to an increase in the number of Brits jetting off on holiday. The firm also took less of a hit than expected from industrial action led by rail workers last Christmas. 

SSP said it is trading in line with guidance, gearing up to post underlying EBITDA within the range of £345-£375m. 

But the group warned today that it could be impacted by ongoing train strikes. 

A combination of strikes and a ban on overtime working are taking place on separate days this week, affecting 17 train companies, and wreaking havoc on businesses. 

The company said: “Since the close of the first quarter, we have continued to see good trading momentum, notwithstanding the impact from industrial action, which is expected to persist in both Continental Europe and the UK throughout the second quarter.” 

Patrick Coveney, chief executive of SSP, added: ”Global demand for travel continues to grow and we have a strong pipeline of secured new contracts around the world. 

“This, combined with our constantly improving customer proposition and our proven ability to mitigate inflationary pressures, means that we remain confident in our prospects for the balance of FY24 and beyond.”

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