SSP Group, the owner of Upper Crust has pleaded for investors to reinvest their final 2019 dividend from the company in order to raise £27m.
The food and beverage business that operates in travel locations across the globe posted a half-year loss of £34.3m for the six months ending March 31st 2020 as a result of the reduced footfall caused by the pandemic.
Prior to the pandemic, the Group reported that it had started the half-year well and in-line with expectations. But it began to see material negative impact to its business as the pandemic escalated, firstly in the Asia Pacific region towards the end of January.
In dealing with the situation, SSP highlighted a number of practical measures such as salary reductions and furloughing of staff but unconventionally pleaded with investors to reinvest their final 2019 dividend payment into new SSP shares.
“Covid-19 has had an unprecedented impact on the travel sector. Our response has been to take quick and decisive action to protect our people and our business, whilst around the world our colleagues have helped and supported their local communities. Although challenging, it was a great illustration of SSP at its best and demonstrated the resilience of our teams. I’m immensely proud of what’s been achieved. Looking forward, and with sufficient liquidity to manage a pessimistic trading scenario, I believe the actions we have been taking during this crisis will make us a fitter and stronger business, well placed to deliver for all our stakeholders as the travel market recovers.”Simon Smith, CEO of SSP Group