Discreet discounting at Eurocamp

EUROCAMP has tinkered with its pricing structure to combat growing competition for self-drive camping holidays on the Continent, but remains adamant it will not sacrifice its position at the premium end of the market, writes John Shepherd.

Competition and sterling's devaluation caused a one-third fall in Eurocamp's profits to pounds 6.25m for the year to 31 October. The drop was not as bad as feared when the company warned of a downturn last July, and the shares rose 22p to 285p. The dividend total has been held at 9.75p.

Eurocamp has, in effect, disguised its main price cut. Teenagers between 14 and 17 will no longer be classed as adults and will go free, cutting up to 15 per cent off the price for a family of four.

However, Richard Atkinson, managing director, said: 'Our prices are a bit keener this year, but we're still very much positioning ourselves as the premium brand in the market.

'But we are also very conscious that we have got to get pricing more competitive.'

Tom Neville, chairman, added: 'We do not expect to be drawn into widespread discounting.'

Eurocamp's main competitors are Eurosites, owned by Airtours, Key Camp, run by Baldwin, and Haven which is part of Rank.

Eurocamp's high-season prices of pounds 800 last year have been trimmed by 1 to 2 per cent. The cheapest 14-night holiday on offer is pounds 300 in the low season in May and September.

(Photograph omitted)

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