Saga disclosed yesterday that holiday bookings for 2019-20 departures are flat year-on-year.

However, the over-50s specialist reported “recent positive momentum”.

Saga said bookings for new cruise ship Spirit of Discovery are over 55% of sales targets for the first nine months from June 2019 at “attractive” yields.

The company, which also runs insurance businesses, said in a trading update ahead of its annual meeting: “We have traded in line with our expectations for the first four months of the year.

“The group’s targeted investment in customer growth is driving both our Saga branded policy count and cruise bookings.”

Chief executive Lance Batchelor said: “We have seen good momentum this year across our travel and insurance businesses, particularly in new motor and home insurance policies, underwriting performance and bookings for our new cruise ship, Spirit of Discovery.

“All of this underpins our confidence that we have put in place the right investment to drive the Saga business forward.”

Saga’s new membership scheme, Possibilities, has attracted 740,000 members. The group’s interim results are due to be issued on September 27.