The Icelandic volcanic ash cloud cost the Page & Moy Travel Group £946,000 last year, the tour operator revealed today as it revealed its 2010 trading figures.

The escorted tours specialist reported an operating profit of £2.28 million excluding the ash cloud impact, up from £1.8 million in 2009.

Group chief executive William Burton said that in addition to the ash cloud, the general election, three British Airways strikes, World Cup and government cutbacks had all impacted on 2010 trading, making the improved profit performance “particularly pleasing”. 

He added that 2011 sales were still running well ahead of 2010 despite the economic uncertainty at home and events in the Middle East and Japan.

Sales revenue for summer 2011 is cumulatively 15% ahead on a like-for-like basis against 2010, compared to a UK package holiday market that was 3% ahead overall, the company said.
 
A key driver for this was the re-launched Page & Moy brand, which was cumulatively 20% ahead on revenue for summer 2011, the company reported.

Travelsphere, which was launched through the trade for the first time last autumn, has seen revenue 14% ahead for summer 2011, largely driven by strong long-haul performance and growth in regional airport departures.

The brand has expended its programme to China and Asia while revenues for tours to the US and Canada were running 26% ahead year on year. The Just You single travellers’ brand was 13% ahead on revenue for summer 2011.