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SSP shakes the tin, will WH Smith be next?

25/03/2020 · SSP Group (SSPG)  · WH Smith (SMWH) 

Coronavirus Travel UK

WHSmith Gatwick airport store front

With revenues across its UK and continental European operations down as much as 85%, SSP Group, the operator of food concessions at rail stations and airports, has tapped shareholders for more money. WH Smith is probably thinking of doing the same.


As the majority of rents it pays to landlords are set as a percentage of revenue, travel concession stand owner SSP Group (LON:SSPG) has some in-built cost controls, but it’s yet another business which has little to fall back-on during the crushing challenges of the coronavirus outbreak. 

Cash generated over the past few years has been used to support high dividends and more recently share buybacks. The latest buyback of up to £100m has now been suspended and the final dividend of 6p per share, due to be paid on 27 March, has also been deferred, with the interim dividend for the…

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