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SSP CEO Kate Swann to step down following strong FY18 profits

The former WH Smith CEO will step down as chief of food and beverage retailer SSP on a high, as the company records strong profits in its full year results.

Burger King and Starbucks logos
Source: Bloomberg

SSP bid farewell to CEO Kate Swann on Wednesday who will step down from her post next year after helping the company to record strong profits in its full year results.

The longstanding FTSE 250 boss that spent ten years as chief at WH Smith will hand over her responsibilities at SSP to the company’s UK and Ireland CEO Simon Smith at the end of May next year.

‘I am delighted to be appointed as SSP’s next Group CEO,’ Smith said. ‘SSP is a fantastic business with excellent on-going growth potential.’

‘We have a strong senior management team and thousands of dedicated colleagues around the world, and I am confident that together we will continue to build on the success achieved.’

‘I look forward to working closely with Kate over the next six months to ensure a smooth transition,’ he added.

SSP continue international expansion

SSP recorded solid growth in its full year results, with operating profit of £195.2 million, up 22.7%, which is underpinned by strong international growth.

The company boasts an encouraging pipeline of new business with it winning a number of new contracts that will allow it to open stores in key travel locations across the globe, including 29 Starbucks stores in the NS rail estate in the Netherlands and in airports in Brazil, India and North America.

The food and beverage retailer has more than 500 brands in its portfolio including Burger King and Yo! Sushi.

‘Today we’ve announced another record set of results, growing earnings a further 24% and proposing £150m return of cash to shareholders, so I am stepping down at a time when the business is clearly in great shape, with a strong senior management team and enormous future growth potential,’ Swann said.

‘It’s been a privilege to work with the many talented people that make up the SSP team and who have contributed to making it a world class business.

‘I look forward to working closely with Simon in the next six months to ensure a smooth handover, and I am confident that he will lead the Group to even greater success in the future,’ she added.

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