Specialist travel group Holidaybreak has moved into Germany as part of a strategy to become a leading supplier of school trips across Europe.


The company’s education division has agreed to take a half share in German student and school tour accommodation group Meininger for £30.9 million.


It has an option to acquire the remaining shares in the operator over the next two to three years.


The deal was disclosed as Holidaybreak released full year financial results showing a pre-tax profit up by 8.9% to £30.7 million.


This follows the group’s shift towards educational travel which is seen as being less exposed to discretionary spending.


The group’s adventure travel division was described as continuing a recovery, performing strongly in a challenging economic environment.


The hotel breaks division, which includes Superbreak, remains “exposed to short-term demand fluctuations as disposable incomes are impacted during a recession”.


However, the group said the hotel breaks arm continues to benefit from popular theatre shows such as Lion King, Wicked and We Will Rock You. The upcoming production of the Wizard of Oz is expected to drive demand.


Chief executive Martin Davies said: “Our goal is to become the leading brand in the European school trip market, covering all the major destinations such as Paris, London, Berlin, Amsterdam and Milan.”


The Meininger deal “takes us a step closer to that goal”, he said.