Cheesy does it at food group SSP as profits rise to £768m following a £135m loss the previous year

Cheesy does it at  food group SSP as profits rise to £76.8m following a £13.5m loss the previous year

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SSP Chief executive Kate Swann said she was not emulating her previous employer, by keeping sales flat while driving profit

SSP Chief executive Kate Swann said she was not emulating her previous employer, by keeping sales flat while driving profit

Grating cheese on pizza rather than slicing it, and other cost-cutting measures, helped food group SSP post a strong rise in annual profit.

The firm, which owns Upper Crust and runs some Burger King and Marks & Spencer Simply Food outlets in airports and stations, has benefited from a strong rise in travellers passing through its outlets.

SSP floated in the summer of last year and operates 2,000 different restaurants, bars, food courts and convenience stores.

Pre-tax profit grew to £76.8million for the year to September 30, from a loss of £13.5million the previous year.

Total sales were flat at £1.8billion and the firm introduced a final dividend of 2.2p-a-share.

Chief executive Kate Swann said she was not emulating her previous employer, by keeping sales flat while driving profit.

She pointed to a 3.7 per cent rise in underlying sales for the year and said strong performance was due to cost-cutting and efficiencies rather than hiking prices.

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Swann said: ‘We have done a lot of work making our recipes at all the different outlets more uniform around the world, which means we can buy items centrally and get bigger discounts.

‘We act more like a global group rather than a loose association of 29 countries.’

Previously the firm bought 42 different types of sugar sachets from 14 different suppliers, and now uses one supplier delivering a saving of 15 per cent.

She has changed the way crockery, glasswear, and frozen chicken is bought and has reduced the number of different recipes for spaghetti bolognaise to 20.

Swann also said grating cheese on the top of pizzas used less cheese than slicing it into cubes. ‘We now make sure all regions grate cheese. Cubes do not melt and caramelise as well.’

 

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