Travel brands perform well in Saga’s full-year results

By Lisa James
Home » Travel brands perform well in Saga’s full-year results

Saga Group says it expects demand for its travel brands to grow in the next year, with its cruise and holiday divisions key to helping the company return to profit.

Post-COVID recovery of cruise and travel helped boost group revenue by 54% to more than £581 million, preliminary results for the financial year to 31 January 2023 show.

Saga’s Travel business reported revenue of £108.4m, more than 10 times that in the previous year, and an underlying loss before tax of £4.1m, in line with previous guidance.

New products such as private jet tours and Tailor-Made by Saga have generated £136.6m in total booked revenue for the coming year 2023/24, as of 26 March 2023 – 32% ahead of the £103.7m booked at the same point in the prior year.

Saga’s Ocean Cruise division reported an underlying loss before tax of £0.7m for the full year but with considerable improvement in the second half, when it reported an underlying profit before tax of £6.2m.

River Cruise, which is now reported separately from Saga’s Travel business, reported revenue of £28.8m compared with £1.7m in the prior year, and an underlying loss before tax of £5.1m.

Load factors were 72% for ocean cruises and 63% for river cruises.

Group CEO Euan Sutherland said: “Our Ocean Cruise business continued to see strong customer demand and bookings for 2023/24 are on track to meet our targets. In Travel, bookings are significantly ahead of the same point last year and that business will return to profit this year.

“Our top priorities for the next 12 months are to strengthen our financial position and continue to build Saga into the largest and fastest-growing business for older people in the UK, delivering long-term, sustainable growth for our stakeholders.”

Announcing its results, Saga said in a statement: “We expect to see customer demand continue to build for our Ocean Cruises and we are aiming to achieve a load factor of at least 80% and our targeted £40m EBITDA [earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation] per ship, excluding overheads.

“We expect both our River Cruise and Travel businesses to significantly increase the number of passengers that travel with us and return to profit.”

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