On the Beach boss voices Brexit caution

On the Beach remains “cautious” of consumer sentiment ahead of the UK’s planned March 29 exit from the European Union.

The message came as the online travel agent reported a 20% rise in core UK revenue in the four months to January 31.

Work is continuing on building a platform build for an online agent-only booking portal following the takeover of Classic Collection Holidays in August.

The Classic Package Holidays initiative is due to be launched next month with a phased introduction throughout the year.

In a trading update, On the Beach chief executive Simon Cooper said: “The first four months of the new financial year has delivered another solid period of growth for the group.

“Our strategy of investing in our brands, talent and technology to drive growth has delivered performance in line with the board’s expectations, with both new and repeat customers attracted to our wide range of value for money beach holidays.

“Whilst we remain cautious of the consumer environment in the period immediately prior to the 29th March, the board remains confident in the group’s outlook and will continue to evaluate opportunities to enhance its market share position.”

 The company reported a continuation of several long term trends, “most notably  strong mobile traffic and conversion growth, strong branded share and repeat purchase supported by incremental offline marketing activity and an increasingly efficient online marketing spend.”

On the Beach added: “We also continue to make good progress directly sourcing hotels and driving an increasing proportion of sales into our top selling and more exclusive hotel product.

“We have made significant progress towards our aim to expand long-haul sales, completing the full build of a direct technical integration into the Emirates flights systems in January and we will add further longer haul destinations, scheduled carriers and long haul hotels throughout the rest of this financial year.”

The company moved to a new ‘digital headquarters’ in Manchester city centre together with the expansion of its operational base in Cheadle in November.

“These facilities will enable us to further increase our investment in talent and technology across the group.”

An external search process is underway to find a chairman of the company’s board to replace interim chairman David Kelly, as well as an additional non-executive director.

Financial results for the six months to March 31 are due to be issued on May 14.


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