January 23, 2018 / 8:02 AM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-SSP comparable sales rise as more people visit Britain

(Adds details, forecast, background)

Jan 23 (Reuters) - SSP Group, an operator of restaurants and bars in airports and railway stations, posted a 2.7 percent increase in first quarter comparable sales as more tourists visited Britain taking advantage of a drop in the value of the pound.

The company, which runs Starbucks and Burger King outlets at airports, also stood by its full-year comparable sales growth forecast of 2 percent to 3 percent.

Like-for-like sales growth in the UK and Continental Europe were in line with expectations in the period.

SSP Group, which has tie-ups with celebrity chefs Gordon Ramsay and Jamie Oliver, has been gaining since the 2016 Brexit vote, which pushed down the value of the pound, making Britain a more attractive holiday destination for foreign tourists.

The British pound has fallen about 4.8 percent against the U.S. dollar since Britain voted to leave the European Union in June 2016.

London-headquartered SSP, whose international revenue accounted for about 67 percent of total revenue in full-year 2017, said currency translation at current spot rates would reduce full-year revenue by 1.5 percent.

The group, which operates restaurants, bars and cafes at airports, train stations and motorway service stations around the world, said total group revenue rose 13.5 percent in its first quarter ended Dec. 31 on a constant currency basis. (Reporting by Radhika Rukmangadhan in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)

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