Austen Shakespeare

Holiday firm cannot "provide any financial guidance" due to pandemic uncertainty

A beach holiday provider has issued an update on trading for the 12 months to September 30 2021 ahead of announcing its Preliminary Results on December 9 2021.

On The Beach PLC, restarted selling holidays to travel from early September 2021, when confidence to book a holiday had increased, with the firm’s research finding 53 per cent of Brits felt confident about booking a holiday for the remainder of calendar year 2021 (up from 34 per cent in July 2021).

While demand for international leisure travel currently remains below pre-pandemic levels, the company’s initiatives, including the “Free Covid Tests” promotion, combined with a further softening of government restrictions, have stimulated bookings in the final weeks of the financial year.

Also, according the On The Beach, the increased awareness of the brand and strengthening of trading over this period provides confidence that there is pent up demand for travel, and positions the business well as it enters 2022.

On September 30 2021, the Group had cash in excess of £55m, excluding customer prepayments of c.£40m which are held in a ring-fenced trust account. The Group has access to a £75m credit facility which is undrawn. The Group continues to refund all customers in cash and in full where their holidays are cancelled.

In addition, On The Beach stated “given the continued level of short term uncertainty, it would not be appropriate to provide any financial guidance for the 2022 financial year. The Board remains committed to investing for long term market share gains in FY22, ahead of full market recovery.”

Simon Cooper, chief executive of On the Beach Group PLC, commented: “The strategic initiatives we have taken throughout the year to best navigate the crisis and manage risk while investing in our brand, people and technology, ensure On the Beach is in a strong position as we head into our typically busiest booking period.

“Thanks to the continued support from our shareholders and lenders, we remain well-funded to successfully and sustainably grow market share.

“I would like to thank the On the Beach team for their support and hard work as we continue to evolve towards a new normal of holidaying. Their creativity and ingenuity, which was the inspiration behind our recently launched “Free Covid Test” offer is a key reason why our customers are building back their confidence and On the Beach continues to thrive.”

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