Saga increases ‘financial flexibility’ with funding partners

Pictured: The latest addition to Saga’s ocean fleet, Spirit of Adventure

Over-50s specialist Saga plc has agreed terms with its lenders to give it ‘sufficient headroom’ if the travel bans continue into the second half of 2021.

In an update on corporate and cruise ship finance facilities, it said it has concluded discussions regarding “options to increase financial flexibility”.

“The group has reached agreement to amend covenants on the term loan and revolving credit facilities and the agreement, which is expected to complete next week, of a one-year extension to the debt deferral on its cruise ship facilities,” it said.

“Given the backdrop of continued disruption to the travel business, the actions taken provide sufficient headroom should the period of travel suspension, which is subject to government guidance, continue well into the second half of the year.”

Euan Sutherland, group chief executive, said: “The successful conclusion of these discussions is the latest step in reinforcing Saga’s financial position, and I would like to thank our funding partners for their ongoing support.

“We continue to see strong pent-up demand for travel among our customers and remain well placed to deliver on this opportunity when the guidance on international travel changes.”

Saga will publish its preliminary results on April 7.

• Meanwhile, Saga has written to its cruise and holidays customers to inform them that it is extending the current suspension of travel operations.

Saga’s holiday and cruise operations will now begin on May 17 and June 27 respectively.

A spokesperson for Saga said: “Following the release of the government’s roadmap out of lockdown, we have taken the decision to delay the resumption of our holiday and cruise operations until May 17 and June 27, respectively.

“As part of this decision, the inaugural cruise of Spirit of Adventure has been moved to July 26. We have contacted all our guests who have been impacted by these changes and are discussing their options with them.”

Saga’s policy of full vaccination for all its guests, as announced in January, remains unchanged.

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