Saga expects small tour operating loss while cruise steams ahead

Saga’s tour operating business is expected to trim losses this year while summer cruise load factors are “exceptionally strong”.

The over-50s specialist reported continuing recovery across its travel businesses for the five months to July 4.

The insurance and travel group expects to generate underlying pre-tax profit of £35 million-£50 million in 2022-23 “and grow future earnings from this level” against a loss of £7 million in the last financial year.

MoreSaga Holidays and Titan Travel to be combined

Saga to work with ‘smaller number’ of agents

The forecast came in a trading update which revealed that Saga’s holidays business is expected to report a small loss for the first half and full year.

This was described as being a “much-improved result” compared to last year.

Recently opened bookings for 2023-24 are showing “encouraging early signs”.

Saga’s two cruise ships are showing a booked load factor of 73% at July 2 and are expected to reach around 75% for the full year.

The company reported an “exceptionally strong booked load factor” over the summer and a strong launch of the 2023-24 cruise season with bookings representing a load factor of 34%, described as being “well ahead” of expectations.

Travel insurance policy sales in June recovered to pre-pandemic levels. 

Looking forward, Saga said it was “navigating a period of global turbulence and remains mindful of the current inflationary pressures”. 

The company revealed three senior appointments across its personal finance, media and data businesses plus ITV chair Sir Peter Bazalgette as one of two new non-executive directors.

Group chief executive Euan Sutherland said: “During the first five months of the year, Saga has made good progress in what has been a particularly challenging external environment and we are pleased that we are on-track to return to an underlying profit for the 2022-23 financial year. 

“We have continued to adapt our insurance business to meet the evolving needs of our customers, most recently through the development of new products, providing them with greater flexibility and choice. 

“Meanwhile, our travel business is continuing to make progress as we emerge from the pandemic.”

He added: “While the external environment remains challenging in the near-term, I am confident that our strategy, our people and our product offering will create long-term growth and value for our stakeholders.”

MoreSaga Holidays and Titan Travel to be combined

Saga to work with ‘smaller number’ of agents

Share article

View Comments

Jacobs Media Group is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

The highest official awards for UK businesses since being established by royal warrant in 1965. Read more.