Other highlights of the financial results included operating profit up 20.8% in constant currency, and up 12.3% at actual exchange rates, while revenue for the year was £1.82 billion, up 4% on a constant currency basis, and stable at actual exchange rates.
Like-for-like sales growth was 3.3%, which SSP says included strong performances in UK, North America and Asia Pacific, and operating margin was up 50 basis points to 4.8, operating cash flow generation was £83.3 million, a rise of 24.3%.
SPP says there was continued investment in the business with capital expenditure of £76 million, while the balance sheet significantly strengthened with year-end net debt of £371.1 million.
The company secured new contracts in the period at Beijing, Dubai, Sacramento and Stansted airports, and it says there was good early progress in "embedding stronger retail disciplines and leveraging best practice and international scale".
Kate Swann, CEO of SSP, explains: “We delivered a good performance across the group with profit up 21%, and strong sales growth and cash generation. We also strengthened our balance sheet, providing capacity for continued growth.
“We made good progress on the implementation of our strategy and are particularly encouraged by the strong growth we achieved during the year in North America and Asia Pacific.
“We also began to deliver early results from our broad programme of initiatives to drive benefits from our international scale and are encouraged by the opportunities going forward.
“We have started the financial year in line with our expectations and looking ahead, whilst a degree of uncertainty always exists around passenger numbers in the short-term, we are well positioned to benefit from the underlying positive trends in our markets.”