Saga confirms search for potential cruise partner in trading update

Saga search for cruise partner
By Linsey McNeill
30/01/2024
Home » Saga confirms search for potential cruise partner in trading update

Saga confirmed today that the insurance-to-travel company is exploring opportunities to optimise its ocean cruise business, including ‘potential partnership arrangements’.

It said this would ‘support further growth, crystallise value, reduce debt and enhance long-term returns for shareholders’.

In a trading update for the six months to 29 January, Saga Group CEO Mike Hazell said: “Our cruise and travel businesses have had an outstanding year, having taken around 120k passengers on holiday, with customers continuing to be drawn to the strength of the Saga brand and offer. As a result, these businesses will return to profitability, in line with expectations.

“Bookings for the new seasons in cruise and travel are robust, showing good overall progress.”

Saga’s two-ship ocean cruise business is expected to see revenue growth of around 30% year on year, with a booked load factor for 2024/25 of 87%, up from 75% a year ago.

As a result, it should exceed its target of £40m pre-tax profit per ship, it said.

“Given the ongoing momentum in ocean cruise, the business is now approaching optimum capacity, building on the continued high demand for our successful boutique cruise offer,” it added.

“We are exploring opportunities to optimise the business, including potential partnership arrangements which, consistent with our move to a capital-light business model, would support further growth, crystallise value, reduce debt and enhance long-term returns for shareholders.”

Saga’s river cruise load factor at 28 January was 59% , up from 52% at the same time last year.

Saga’s revenue for its travel business for 2024/25 was £115m, 12% ahead of last year, with passenger numbers up 2% to 35,000.

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