Caffè Ritazza owner eyes empty Tube ticket offices

 

The company behind coffee shops, food stores and restaurants at airports and train stations is hoping to cash in on Transport for London’s plans to install retailers in soon- to-be empty ticket offices at Underground stations.

Kate Swann, the chief executive of SSP, said that the company which owns the Upper Crust and Caffè Ritazza brands has been involved in discussions with Tube bosses, who want to raise £3bn and have already announced several high-profile deals with major supermarkets and delivery firms.

Asked about wanting to be in Tube stations, she said: “We are in constant discussions with all our key clients, including Transport for London. We already have good relationships in that area because we’re in train stations across the country.”

Her comments come as the company revealed that underlying pre-tax profits jumped 12.6 per cent to £54m for the six months to end of March. SSP’s sales were up 4.6 per cent at £866m.

Sales in the US were particularly strong following new openings in New York’s JFK airport, alongside Phoenix and San Diego.

Ms Swann, the former boss of WH Smith, said the potential in the US is significant – sales in North America were up 25 per cent – because airports have been slow to offer a wider choice of food and drinks stores.

She said: “Most of the airport owners there are government, whereas in the rest of the world they are more commercial landlords, which makes things a bit slower. It’s democratic and everyone is asked their opinions.”

Airport and train station operators are also becoming more discerning with the kind of restaurants and cafes SSP installs, with bosses wanting a more-targeted approach.

Ms Swann said: “Our clients want us to replicate what’s important to the local area. In Newcastle airport, for example, we’re just opened a new bar called the Newcastle Beer House.”

Elsewhere, the Dani Garcia Deli Bar at Malaga airport sells locally sourced food while the Grain Loft at Manchester airport promotes regional ales.

Sales across the rest of the world were up 9 per cent, but these were dragged down by unrest in Egypt and Thailand, while SSP’s lack of business in South America means that it will not benefit directly from the World Cup in Brazil.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45,000: SThree: SThree Group have been well e...

Ashdown Group: IT Manager / Development Manager - NW London - £58k + 15% bonus

£50000 - £667000 per annum + excellent benefits : Ashdown Group: IT Manager / ...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Consultant / Telemarketer - OTE £20,000

£13000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Scotland's leading life insuran...

Ashdown Group: Training Programme Manager - City, London

£40000 - £45000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Training Programme Manag...

Day In a Page

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own