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Holidaybreak warns of ‘challenging’ times ahead

Holidaybreak has warned of “challenging” economic conditions ahead despite performing well over the last 10 months.

Releasing its interim management statement two months before the end of its financial year, the European specialist holiday and activity group admitted it is dealing with “a more difficult trading environment” but said overall the group has now booked 93% of its target sales.

Year to date sales for the 2007/08 year are 4% ahead of this time last year.

Holidaybreak chief executive Carl Michel said: “Looking forward to the next financial year, the general economic environment may be more challenging, putting further pressure on disposable incomes.

“However, I remain pleased that the spread of our businesses across different travel segments and in various European markets provides us with trading resilience.”

Within the group, Michel said education division sales are up 9% for the 2007/08 financial year while it is 40% booked for 2008/09 with a sales growth of 3%.

Hotel breaks sales are up 3% for the current year although there has been a recent slowing of domestic sales with London particularly affected.

Sales in the capital have been further dented by the lack of future big West End shows or blockbuster museum exhibitions which have driven early sales in the past.

Adventure travel sales for 2007/08 are up 3% while sales for 2009/09 in the sector are 4% ahead of this time last year with around 20% of capacity already sold.

Camping is also performing soundly with sales up 1% for 2007/08, despite a 5% reduction in capacity.

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