AGM Update 15 February 2007
Holidaybreak, the European specialist holiday group, today issues an update on current trading and outlook to coincide with its AGM.
TRADING IN LINE WITH MANAGEMENT EXPECTATIONS
Sales intake for Hotel Breaks is currently 10% above last year. The recovery in market conditions experienced in the second half of last financial year has continued. Value-added business into London, with its strong theatre offerings, has been particularly buoyant. Value-added products now account for 40% of Superbreak’s sales. As previously disclosed, margins will be lower this year as we continue to invest in developing our on-line offering. Recent enhancements include maps and a facility to pay by PayPal. Customer feedback facilities will be “live” in the near future.
Adventure Travel has once again built on a strong start and current like for like sales are 8% up. We anticipate another good performance from this division in the current year. The German businesses we acquired at the end of last financial year, Carpe Diem and TravelWorks, have shown encouraging year on year growth.
Camping sales to date are 2% lower than last year in the context of a 4% reduction in capacity. We are currently over 65% booked for the whole season, in line with plan. As previously announced, we are investing £9.5m (net of disposal proceeds) in the current financial year to replace older mobile homes.
Overall trading is in line with management expectations.
OUTLOOK AND STRATEGY
The Group once again expects to deliver double-digit margins, well above industry norms. Cash generation is expected to remain strong while investing £16m (net of disposals) in capital expenditure across the divisions this year.
The Group has the financial strength and resilience to exploit and benefit from trends in a travel market which continues to change significantly. We intend to grow the portfolio of brands under the Holidaybreak umbrella organically and by acquisition. We recently acquired West End Theatre Bookings Limited which will allow us to increase value-added sales into London. We have a good pipeline of potential acquisitions as we continue to pursue selected growth opportunities in attractive markets which should deliver good financial returns and generate cash.
We expect to announce our Interim Results for the six months ended 31 March 2007 on 18 May 2007.