SSP Group profits up by almost a third year on year


first_imgNew contracts and operational improvements have driven a 32.6% increase in underlying operating profit at travel site operator SSP Group.The global business, which operates UK travel sites for brands including Starbucks and Upper Crust, reported operating profit of £55.2m in the six months to 21 March on revenue up 11.9% at constant currency to £1,177.8m.In the UK, the business reported a 1.2% increase in revenue to £369.5m, with growth in the air sector stronger than the rail sector, which SSP described as “remaining soft”. The business added, however, that it had been impacted by the closure of Monarch Airlines last year and reduced schedules from Ryanair.Underlying operating profit for the UK rose 12.5% to £33.4m, with operating efficiency programmes and lower depreciation offsetting reduced like-for-like sales and inflation in food and labour costs.The company announced it had recently secured a partnership agreement with London-based healthy food and juice chain Crussh to take the brand into rail and airport locations in the UK and Europe.”SSP has delivered another strong performance in the first half of 2018,” said SSP Group CEO Kate Swann. “Operating profit was up 32.6%, driven by good like-for-like sales growth, significant new contract openings and further operational improvements.”“Looking forward, the second half has started in line with our expectations and while a degree of uncertainty always exists around passenger numbers in the short term, we continue to be well placed to benefit from the structural growth opportunities in our markets and our programme of operational improvements.”last_img read more

Beer: Be Grateful


first_imgCharlottesville craft beer powerhouse Starr Hill is about to release a brand new summer seasonal, Grateful Pale Ale, and we got a chance to knock out a six pack before the beer hits the shelves.Personally, I’m a sucker for anything that’s reminiscent of the heyday of Jam Bands (girls in flowy skirts, selling grilled cheese from the back of a van so you can buy beer for girls in flowy skirts…), so Grateful Pale started with a big check in the “Pro” category.The beer pours more like a pilsner than a pale, with a light straw, almost transparent color in the glass. You get a huge citrusy (grapefruit) aroma and flavor upfront followed by the typical bitterness associated with hop-heavy beers. But Grateful comes across lighter than most pale ales on the market, thanks in large part to its crisp, lean body and low alcohol content (4.7 percent abv).Now, I hate it when beer reviews stop after that first two or three initial sips. In my mind, you don’t know a beer until you hang out with it, drink several at one sitting, and then live with the consequences the next day. And this is where Grateful Pale outshines its competitors. I’m happy to say that this beer gets better and better as you move through the six pack and doesn’t leave a trace of regret the following morning, unlike many of the local pales you find out there today. I’m looking at you Wicked Weed Brewing! Bottom line: This is a session beer for American pale ale lovers, or a great intro into the hoppiness of pales and IPA’s for craft beer beginners. If you’re looking to transition a friend from the land of Blue Moon into the beautiful world of local beer, this could be your ticket.I’d say it’s my favorite beer from Starr Hill, although to be certain, I’d have to try every single beer they produce side by side…which I’m willing to do in the name of science.We got our Grateful Pale in a six-pack of bottles. If you live between Pennsylvania and South Carolina, you can do the same starting May 1, when Starr Hill releases this summer brew to the public. And here’s something else to look forward to in May—BRO is producing a feature about summer seasonal releases from local breweries, and the best outdoor bars in the South. So May is shaping up to be the best month of the year.Follow Graham Averill’s adventures in drinking and Dad-hood at daddy-drinks.comlast_img read more

Season opener is Sunday for Thomas County Speedway


first_imgBy John SchmidtCOLBY, Kan. – The long wait for the 2014 race season at Thomas County Speedway is just about over as action resumes this Sunday, May 11 at 7 p.m.Just like last season, several improvements have been made to the track as well as the grandstands. Another change is the return of the wild and crazy cruisers. With the help of Bernie Meyer at Murfin Drilling and several others, the table top in turns three and four has been removed. The wall was moved back a couple feet, then the track was graded the rest of the way to the wall. This widened turns three and four by about eight feet. Also, the wall was pointed down at an angle so it will help push the cars back on the track instead of creating a ramp. MD Auto Works of Colby is sponsoring an extra $100 to the IMCA Xtreme Motor Sports Modified purse each race. That means an extra $50 for first place, $30 for second, and $20 for third.One of the biggest changes fans in the grandstand will notice is the new and improved sound system. The announcer spent the offseason shopping for a new sound system and with the help from sponsors and volunteers. BP Miller Farms, Donna Bennett with Waddell and Reed, NWK Tree Service, J & S Trucking and Renee Rains Photography contributed to this great improvement to the speedway. The schedule features several special events this year. Cruisers will make their return to Colby on June 1, 15, and Aug. 10. URSS 305 sprint cars return trip on June 29. On Saturday July 5 will be an enduro race.When the BST Series returns on July 20 it will bring NASCAR driver Ken Schrader to race with the best Modified drivers Northwest Kansas has to offer.For a full schedule and a list of all the grandstand specials, check out thomascountyspeedway.com or go to the track’s Facebook page. Hot laps start at 6 p.m. Sunday. Drivers can call the Quality Inn for rooms and ask for the special racers’ rate.Thomas County also sanctions the IMCA Sunoco Stock Cars, Karl Chevrolet Northern SportMods and IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stockslast_img read more

India hit back with two run outs to halt SA progress


first_imgPRETORIA (Reuters) – India surged back into contention against South Africa after two run outs late on Saturday, including the key wicket of Hashim Amla, saw the hosts slip to 269 for six at the close on the opening day of the second Test.South Africa had seemed set for a big first innings total when they reached 246 for three but some brilliant fielding and poor decision making combined to rattle their middle order and leave the honours even after the first day. Home captain Faf du Plessis is not out on 24 and will resume his innings on Sunday with Keshav Maharaj (10) on a slow wicket that is expected to quicken over the next few days. Amla looked in total control of his innings and struck 14 fours in his 82 before being called through for a risky single by Du Plessis.The bowler, Hardik Pandya, reacted quickly though and his speed to the ball, swivel and quick release to the bowlers’ end found Amla two feet short. Quinton de Kock was then out for a first ball duck, caught at slip by India captain Virat Kohli off the bowling of hard-working spinner Ravichandran Ashwin (3-90), who sent down an impressive 31 overs on the opening day. The hosts’ misery was compounded when Vernon Philander was also out without scoring, charging down the wicket for a run as Du Plessis screamed at him from the non-striker’s end to stop. Both players ended up on the same side of the wicket.The poor half-hour undid the excellent work of opener Aiden Markram earlier as he compiled an eye-catching 94 before being caught by wicketkeeper Parthiv Patel off Ashwin, denied a third test century in seven innings. Dean Elgar (31) was Ashwin’s other victim, while impressive seamer Ishant Sharma (1-32) induced an edge from the dangerous AB de Villiers (20) onto his own wicket. The wicket has also shown some variable bounce already and is expected to break up on days four and five.South Africa have selected uncapped seamer Lungi Ngidi as a replacement for the injured Dale Steyn, the only change to their side from the 72-run first Test victory in Cape Town. India made three changes as opener Lokesh Rahul, Patel and Sharma replaced Shikhar Dhawan, Wriddhiman Saha and Bhuvneshwar Kumar respectively.SOUTH AFRICA 1st inningsElgar c Vijay b Ashwin 31Markram c †Patel b Ashwin 94Amla run out (Pandya) 82AB de Villiers b I Sharma 20F du Plessis (c) not out 24Q de Kock † c Kohli b Ashwin 0Philander run out (†Patel/Pandya) 0Maharaj not out 10Extras: (lb 7, nb 1) 8Total: (90 overs 269-6To bat: L. Ngidi, K. Rabada, M. MorkelFall of wickets: 1-85, 2-148, 3-199, 4-246, 5-250, 6-251Bowling: J. Bumrah 18-4-57-0, M. Shami 11-2-46-0, I. Sharma 16-3-32-1, H. Pandya 14-4-37-0, R.Ashwin 31-8-90-3last_img read more

Alcona Elementary Receives Major Grant to Help Bring Art Back to Classrooms After a Decade


first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThisYou can fill the excitement and even hear some of the conversations that these students are having while creating a masterpiece, but this part of education wouldn’t be possible if it weren’t for one special teacher, Ms. Brooke Green, and Art in the Loft’s, Justin Christensen-Cooper.Yes! 10 years. That’s how long it took to reinstall art to Alcona Elementary. A grant was awarded by the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs through Art in the Loft Alpena.Green isn’t taking that reward lightly; she’s been busy since the beginning of the new school year making sure to plan out a unique lesson to teach each grade period.Art establishes a work zone for students to express themselves, especially after sitting quietly in other classrooms. Even Superintendent Dan O’Connor agrees. He’s already making plans to show off his student’s art talent.AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThisContinue ReadingPrevious The process of getting ‘The Pond’ ready at the Northern Lights ArenaNext Junior high students get a crash course on financialslast_img read more

State’s ‘Free Fishing Days’ Slated for June 15-16


first_imgBy John BurtonTRENTON — Fresh water anglers next weekend will be able to take advantage of two days of free fishing.The Christie administration announced it will again hold the state’s annual Free Fishing Days on June 15-16.Fishermen can participate in their sport for those two days without needing to purchase a license or trout stamp, according to the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).The free fishing days are held each year to coincide with National Fishing and Boating Week and to encourage the activity by residents and visitors, according to the DEP.While licenses aren’t needed for those two days, other regulations, including size and catch limits, will continue to be enforced.last_img read more

STABLE NOTES BY ED GOLDEN – FRIDAY APRIL 10, 2015


first_imgMartin Pedroza17618262310%$772,804 Thomas Proctor5386315%$564,378 Kent Desormeaux20834372716%$2,074,810 Tyler Baze31741413513%$2,451,248 Peter Eurton8715131517%$878,756 Rafael Bejarano28869453724%$3,387,918 Martin Garcia14729201720%$2,719,810 A. C. Avila2572328%$208,298 SAHARA SKY RETURNS IN GRADE II KONA GOLDGOOD POST FOR MASOCHISTIC IN KONA GOLDTHEATRE STAR WORKING WELL FOR COMEBACKESPINOZA: AMERICAN PHAROAH ‘AMAZING’ HORSEMIKE LUZZI TO RECEIVE WOOLF AWARD SUNDAYWARREN‘S VENEDA PREPS FOR GRADE I VANITY Philip D’Amato8019121324%$920,270 Michael Pender5288615%$217,900 Mark Casse62106816%$802,986 Victor Espinoza18535352619%$2,437,156 John Sadler14022191816%$1,473,100 SANTA ANITA STATISTICS Richard Baltas821714721%$740,135 SAHARA SKY SET TO CATCH THE SPEED IN KONA GOLDWith speed, speed and more speed on paper in Saturday’s Grade II Kona Gold Stakes, stretch-running Sahara Sky is primed to pick up the pieces in the 6 ½ furlong race for older horses that offers $200,000 in prize money.“He’s ready,” Dan Ward, assistant to Jerry Hollendorfer, said of the 7-year-old Pleasant Tap horse owned by Hollendorfer and the Sweetwater Stable of former trainer Kim Lloyd.“He’s not a fast worker, but he has two 13s (six furlong drills in 1:13, handily from thegate on March 28 and six furlongs in 1:13.20 on March 22), and that’s a good work for him.”On Sunday, Sahara Sky worked six furlongs in 1:16.“There are six other speed horses in there, but you know what happens,” Ward cautioned. “You look at an overnight and it looks like there are four speed horses, and somebody will go 23 and 46 by himself, so you never know.“But the horse is doing very well.”Sahara Sky, winner of the Grade I Metropolitan Mile in 2013, has earnings of $1,145,578 with eight wins, four seconds and four thirds from 21 starts.            The Kona Gold: Spirit Rules, Iggy Puglisi, 8-1; Caminetto, 8-1, Martin Garcia; Seeking the Sherif, Kayla Stra, 4-1; Sahara Sky, Rafael Bejarano, 5-2; San Onofre, Alex Solis, 3-1; Masochistic, Tyler Baze, 2-1; and Ankeny Hills, Edwin Maldonado, 12-1. THEATRE STAR SHORTENS UP IN LAS CIENEGAS STAKESTheatre Star is cutting back in distance after 10 career starts at a mile or longer when she runs in Saturday’s Grade III, $100,000 Las Cienegas Stakes for older fillies and mares at about 6 ½ furlongs on turf. It will mark her first start in six months.The 5-year-old War Front mare trained by Tom Proctor for Glen Hill Farm has four wins, but seeks her first stakes score Saturday. Drayden Van Dyke, who has ridden the bay three times, has been aboard for her recent drills.“She’s working lights out and Tom knows where to put his horses,” said the Eclipse Award-winning apprentice rider of 2014. “If he thinks she belongs in that spot, I think she does. I hope for a nice, clean break and a nice trip to give her the best chance possible.”The field for the Las Cienegas: Theatre Star, Drayden Van Dyke, 8-1; Home Journey, Rafael Bejarano, 4-1; Living the Life, Flavien Prat, 9-2; Salsita, Felipe Valdez, 50-1; Blingismything, Elvis Trujillo, 4-1; Go West Marie, Gary Stevens, 2-1; Unforgettable U, Edwin Maldonado, 20-1; and Heavens Stairway, Tyler Baze, 5-2.‘PHAROAH’ SPEAKS VOLUMES TO ESPINOZAAmerican Pharoah will try to trump stablemate Dortmund in their running battle of one-upmanship in Saturday’s Grade I, $1 million Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park.Regular rider Victor Espinoza will be aboard the son of Pioneerof the Nile owned and bred by Ahmed Zayat.“He’s an amazing horse,” Espinoza said of the bay colt trained by Bob Baffert. “He’s improving all the time and every time I ride him I learn something new and different that shows me how amazing he is.“He has everything a horse needs to win the Kentucky Derby.”Espinoza should know. He won his first Run for the Roses in 2002 on War Emblem for Baffert, and captured the Derby last year on eventual Horse of the Year California Chrome. Mike Smith11422221719%$2,546,971 Peter Miller15729271918%$1,438,956 James Cassidy71981213%$396,690 Hector Palma3575220%$191,100 Edwin Maldonado12518121414%$614,204 Agapito Delgadillo5066512%$166,238 Flavien Prat15216182011%$930,344 Mark Glatt8314161217%$619,602 Steve Knapp4072318%$289,197 Felipe Valdez9213121614%$428,337 FINISH LINES: Streaking stakes winner Warren’s Veneda, prepping for the Grade I Vanity Stakes on May 9, worked five furlongs at 6:30 Friday morning in 1:00.40 under exercise rider Manny Rotela for Craig Lewis. Asked if he was happy with the drill, Lewis said, “Everything about her makes me happy.” . . . Gusto Dolce, stablemate of 1-5 morning line choice Beholder in today’s Santa Lucia Stakes, was one of three scratches in the 1 1/16-mile race. “She hit her head in her stall and there was blood in her nose,” said trainer Richard Mandella, displaying a picture of the mishap on his iPhone . . . Joe Talamo is recovering in Palm Springs from a sore right shoulder suffered when his mount, Sensitively, fell after the finish of Sunday’s Santa Paula Stakes. Agent Scotty McClellan said the 25-year-old Louisiana native would resume riding next Thursday . . . Trainer David Hofmans passed on today’s Maker’s 46 Mile at Keeneland with Home Run Kitten and now will point to the Grade III San Simeon Stakes at about 6 ½ furlongs on turf April 19 . . . Safety Steward Luis Jauregui is well-satisfied with the innovation several months ago that announces the location of loose horses on the track during morning workouts. “It’s really important,” said Jauregui, a former jockey, “because when you’re on a horse, you hear the sirens (warning of a loose horse), but you don’t know where the horse is. By announcing it over the PA system, it gives the riders on the track a chance to look up and see where the incident happened. We started this at Santa Anita. I approached (President) Tom Ludt and he jumped right on board and said, ‘Let’s do it.’” Jauregui ended his career in style, going out on a winner at Hollywood Park in December of 2006 on a horse named Charming Dot trained by Roger Stein. “I’ll never forget that,” Jauregui said. “It paid $160 to win.” . . . On Sunday, April 19, Santa Anita celebrates Hispanic music and culture with a Latin music festival in the Infield. Enjoy Los Ramones and other top musical acts for concert admission of just $5. Parking is free through Gate 6 . . . John DeSantis of Xpressbet.com, and TV host/analyst Peter Lurie,will be Tom Quigley‘sguests Saturday and Sunday, respectively,11:20 a.m., in the East Paddock Gardens . . .Today’s Santa Lucia Stakes trophy will be presented by Anthony Barr. A 2013 Consensus All American at UCLA, Barr was the No. 9 pick in the first round of the 2014 draft by the Minnesota Vikings, for whom he is currently a starting outside linebacker. Gary Stevens9817141817%$1,534,828 JockeyMts1st2nd3rdWin%Money Won Corey Nakatani11419111617%$933,348 Brandon Boulanger11565105%$213,346 Gonzalo Nicolas936546%$152,546 Joseph Talamo25527274311%$1,875,618 (Current Through Thursday, April 9) Richard Mandella6915101322%$944,646 Mario Gutierrez112101699%$554,602 Doug O’Neill18323162513%$1,113,242 Aaron Gryder8861187%$431,950 TrainerSts1st2nd3rdWin%Money Won Elvis Trujillo23126322311%$1,501,840 Jack Carava53710813%$222,870 MIKE LUZZI TO ACCEPT WOOLF AWARD SUNDAYMike Luzzi will accept Santa Anita’s 2015 George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award in a Winner’s Circle ceremony after the sixth race on Sunday.Sidelined because of a broken leg and a fractured pelvis sustained in a paddock accident last Nov. 2 at Aqueduct, Luzzi has undergone reconstructive surgery and is going through rehabilitation for a return to the saddle at some point this year.Presented annually by Santa Anita since 1950, the Woolf Award is one of the most coveted honors in racing, as it recognizes riders whose careers and personal character have earned esteem for both the individual and the sport of Thoroughbred racing.Luzzi, who has won 3,420 career races, is expected to be accompanied by his wife, Tania, and children Larue and Lane. Eddie Truman2373230%$325,690 MASOCHISTIC MAY RATE FOR ELLIS IN KONA GOLDThe only time Masochistic didn’t make the lead or wasn’t in front at any point in the race came in his first start, March 15, 2014, when he finished fifth, beaten 4 ¼ lengths.The 5-year-old California-bred son of Sought After won four of five subsequent starts, each time in front-running fashion, all under the aegis of trainer A. C. Avila.Purchased privately following his most recent start by Samantha Siegel and now trained by Ron Ellis, Masochistic is favored at 2-1 on the morning line to capture Saturday’s Kona Gold Stakes, although there are several other speed horses in the race.Asked if he had to be on the lead to win, Ellis said, “I hope not, because it’s kind of one dimensional. He drew a good post to be able to kind of adapt to whatever goes on. We’ll see how the break goes and see what Tyler (Baze) thinks.“I would hope he can rate a little bit. He’s been good since I’ve had him. He’s been working great.” Mike Puype10712151511%$525,346 Tiago Pereira1251791514%$503,732 MEET, GREET UNBEATEN DORTMUND AT TOC CLINIC TOMORROWAs a special bonus, all attendees at Saturday’s TOC Conformation Clinic will get an up-close look at undefeated Santa Anita Derby winner and Kentucky Derby contender Dortmund at the barn of Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert, who has graciously agreed to bring the towering colt out for viewing during the morning’s program.The Conformation Clinic starts 10 a.m. at Santa Anita’s Top o’ the Stretch. The workshop, which is intended to help participants develop an “eye” for a horse, will be co-hosted by trainers Dan Blacker, Matt Chew, Mike Machowsky and Howard Zucker.There is still time to register for the event by calling (626) 574-6620. Drayden Van Dyke21623262511%$1,466,663 Steven Miyadi4496620%$304,820 Jeff Bonde38102426%$381,976 Ron Ellis63145922%$481,840 Brice Blanc6173511%$339,980 Santiago Gonzalez13317152013%$751,634 Jerry Hollendorfer16930222418%$3,292,688 Bob Baffert11026191424%$2,952,602 Fernando Perez2041824259%$867,618 -30-last_img read more

Paul Young happy for first Red Stripe Premier League win at Waterhouse since return


first_imgCoach of Waterhouse FC Paul Young is very elated with his first win in the Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) since he took charge late last year.Waterhouse won their first game in the last 11 matches following a 2-0 triumph against Humble Lion away at Effortville Community Centre in May Pen on Sunday.The win pushed Waterhouse out of the relegation zone for the first in a long time as they eased to 20 points, just one ahead of Tivoli Gardens and Rivoli United.”I’m very elated for the win as the team deserved the points. But we have a lot of work to do in the final stage of the preliminary round,” Young told The Gleaner.”We’ve beaten a top-four team, and that is good. It is a platform for us to move forward. The aim is to get as much points as possible in the remaining 11 games,” the former Reggae Boyz striker added.Although Waterhouse are not yet clear of relegation, Young says there is the possibility that they can make the last four and challenge for the title.”Well, if after six matches in the next round and we can challenge for the top four, we will give it a shot,” the former Wolmer’s Boys’ Manning Cup star reasoned.Waterhouse added some experienced players, as well as schoolboys, to the squad, and Young is impressed with the group.”We added veteran Kevin Lamey, Theo Brown, Weston Forrest, plus Manning, and daCosta Cup players such as Paul Young Jr, Kimarley Campbell, Dominic James, Dale Reid, Nicholas Nelson, and Akeem Chambers; and they are working hard for the team.”We have a good balance of youth and experience, so it is a work in progress. We need to continue winning games,” Young noted.Waterhouse will next tackle Montego Bay United in the RSPL on Sunday at Drewsland.last_img read more

ESPN Releases New College Football Power Rankings After Week 5


first_imgESPN power rankings for teams ranked 2 through 4 for week 6 of the season.The Coaches Poll received a major shakeup, and the AP promises to do the same after a wild week five, but neither replaced the nation’s top team. ESPN’s College Football Power Rankings, however, did just that. After struggling at Indiana, Ohio State falls a few spots, replaced at the top by Utah, which continues to benefit from its dominant Oregon win. The Big 12 powers Baylor and TCU also look good, after both put up points in bunches on Saturday.Here are the full rankings: Utah New HelmetTwitter/@UtesEquipment1. Utah2. TCU3. Baylor4. Ohio State5. Clemson6. LSU7. Michigan State8. OklahomaT-9. Texas A&MT-9. Florida11. Alabama12. Northwestern13. Florida State14. Notre Dame15. Stanford16. Ole Miss17. MichiganT-18. UCLAT-18. USC20. Georgia21. Oklahoma State22. Iowa23. Cal24. Boise StateT-25. TempleT-25. HoustonHow did ESPN do this week, fans?last_img read more