UPPER CRUST OWNER SSP GROUP TO BUY AUSTRALIAN AIRPORT BAR AND RESTAURANT FIRM

Upper Crust owner SSP Group has snapped up an airport bar and restaurant firm in Australia.

The deal will see SSP take over Airport Retail Enterprises (ARE), adding 1,500 staff and 62 sites across seven airports to its portfolio. SSP will gain access to four new airports in Australia Canberra, Gold Coast, Townsville and Mount Isa.

The acquisition is set to be completed by the end of June. Patrick Coveney, chief executive of SSP Group, said: "The acquisition will increase our portfolio of brands and concepts, give us entry into new prime air locations, enhance our position as a leading airport food and beverage operator in the country, and create significant value for shareholders."

Peter Butts from ARE said: "This transaction is a major milestone for ARE and we are delighted that it will be joining the SSP Group, one of the leading food and beverage operators in travel locations globally." ARE started in 1971 and makes about 200 million Australian dollars (£100 million) a year.

SSP's latest sales update showed a 14.3% rise in sales when you don't count changes in money value, for the quarter ending December 31. In the UK and Ireland, sales in stores went up by 17.1% in the last three months of the year.

This was better than last year because there were fewer train strikes messing up Christmas in 2022. But the group thinks strikes will still cause problems in the first part of 2024 in the UK and Europe.

2024-02-12T10:00:40Z dg43tfdfdgfd