On The Beach ‘cautious’ over demand for holidays

Holiday firm reported sales have been “resilient” so far over the past eight weeks, increasing 33% against pre-pandemic levels.

Henry Saker-Clark
Tuesday 24 May 2022 13:47
Holiday firm On The Beach has said it is cautious despite recovering bookings (Steve Parsons/PA)
Holiday firm On The Beach has said it is cautious despite recovering bookings (Steve Parsons/PA)

Holiday firm On The Beach has warned it is still “cautious” about consumer demand despite reporting an upturn in holiday bookings.

The company saw shares slip on Tuesday after it told shareholders that the impact of the cost-of-living crisis on bookings is “currently unclear”.

On The Beach reported sales have been “resilient” so far over the past eight weeks, increasing 33% against pre-pandemic levels.

Visibility of the near-term outlook for the UK outbound travel industry remains limited

Simons Cooper, On The Beach

It added that it is optimistic about the recent relaxation of travel restrictions from the UK to Spain and its islands, which it said “should support a stronger late market”.

Shaun Morton, chief financial officer at the company, told the PA news agency that the group has seen “plenty” of short notice bookings from holidaymakers on the back of recovery confidence in travelling abroad.

“It has taken two years since Covid started for those confidence levels to really come back through so people are still really positive about this summer,” he said.

The company said its booked sales for the half-year to March grew 6% against pre-pandemic levels from 2019.

Meanwhile, total group revenues for the six-month period increased to £52.9 million from £4.4 million a year earlier.

On The Beach said its losses reduced to £7 million from £21.6 million in 2021.

Chief executive Simon Cooper said: “Whilst we have entered the second half with resilient sales, visibility of the near-term outlook for the UK outbound travel industry remains limited.

“Customers are typically booking holidays with shorter lead times and we believe we are yet to see the full impact of the escalating cost of living on bookings.

“Despite this, we remain confident that we have taken the right actions throughout the pandemic and we will continue to support our customers and staff as a priority.”

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