Travelzest has revised down its performance ahead of today’s AGM saying the UK arm “continued to experience difficult markets due to the economic climate”.

The travel retailer and group of specialist tour operators said bookings for departures in summer 2011 were down 18%, below the board’s previous expectations.

It said it was pleased with growth in north America where its itravel2000 and The Cruise Professionals were trading strongly.

But added its smaller UK group continued to experience difficult markets due to the economic climate, troubles in the Middle East and concerns about high fuel costs.

The statement continued: “The unification of UK operations had assisted in the group’s ability to address and react to difficult trading conditions.”

The statement said: “Departures for winter 2010/2011 were currently up 18%, with North America providing the growth, broadly in line with management expectations. However departures in summer 2011, which substantially related to the UK business, were down.”

Travelzest said it an expected strong late booking market and move to consolidate operations in the UK would help to improve its performance.

A drive for efficiencies in the UK have seen it open a call centre in Cheltenham and operate as a more cohesive single entity rather than a collection of individually run brands.