Food and beverage outlet operator SSP’s (LSE: SSPG) update shows that the company traded in line with expectations in the third quarter of the year. Total sales increased by 4.8% on a constant currency basis, with growth of 3% like-for-like (LFL). At actual exchange rates, SSP’s sales rose by 9% thanks to weaker sterling.
This growth is at least partly due to higher passenger numbers in the air sector, with its UK performance being robust. However, in Europe SSP’s performance was mixed, with good performance in Spain offset by a weak France and Belgium resulting from industrial action and geopolitical events. Outside of Europe, North America continued to perform well, while China is still experiencing a slowdown in passenger growth.
Looking ahead, SSP is forecast to increase its earnings by 14% this year and by a further 12% next year. This has the potential to boost investor sentiment and with SSP trading on a price-to-earnings growth (PEG) ratio of just 1.5, its shares seem to offer good value for money given their geographic diversity and sound business model.
Also reporting today was Dairy Crest (LSE: DCG). The company’s start to the financial year has been as expected, with it successfully relaunching Cathedral City cheese with new packaging and branding.
Dairy Crest’s butters, spreads and oils business is also progressing well. The benefits of its investment in infant formula ingredients are also starting to come through, with improved operational efficiencies at its demineralised whey and GOS production facilities.
Dairy Crest is expected to record a rise in earnings of 12% this year and a further 5% next year. Despite its 14% share price fall since the start of the year, it still trades on a rather rich valuation. For example, its PEG ratio is 2.8 and this indicates that there’s a lack of a safety margin. As such, and while Dairy Crest is performing well as a business, there may be better options elsewhere for investors.
Meanwhile, Evraz (LSE: EVR) has also released news today. The steel, mining and vanadium company recorded a fall in production across all of its units in the first half of the year. For example, steel production dropped by 7.6%, while production of steel products fell 8%. This was due to a planned maintenance shutdown at one of Evraz’s furnaces in Russia. Similarly, coking coal production also declined versus the prior year, falling by 21% although it was still higher in the second quarter than in the first quarter of the current year.
With Evraz trading on a price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of just 8.4, its shares are relatively cheap. However, its earnings are due to fall by 13% next year so while Evraz may be a sound long-term buy, it would be unsurprising for its shares to come under a degree of pressure in the near term.
Peter Stephens has no position in any shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK owns shares of SSP Group. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.