rss icon Subscribe
desktop mobile

Saga Posts Surprise Profit Amid Cruise Shutdown

© Wolfgang Plapp / MarineTraffic.com

By Muvija M, Chris Thomas

Saga on Wednesday reported a stronger than expected annual profit, sending its shares sharply higher, as lower motor insurance payouts during lockdowns offset losses in its over-50s tour and cruise operations.

The British company, hit hard last year by a shutdown of cruises globally and collapse of other travel, said it was ready to resume its tour and cruise businesses this year after suspending them in March 2020, with timing subject to government restrictions.

"Customer demand remains strong, with evidence of significant pent-up demand from customers ready to travel," Saga said.

Saga's shares jumped nearly 10% to 3.81 pounds by 1010 GMT.

Saga plans to launch its Spirit of Discovery cruise at the end of June, with the route planned around the Scottish Highlands and Shetland Islands.

"We expect strong demand for ocean cruise ex-UK as a sub-set of the booming staycations market," Peel Hunt analysts wrote in a note.

The company's total cruise bookings stood at 154 million pounds for the current and next fiscal year combined, versus the 128 million pounds at the same point last year.

In Britain, international travel faces a potentially longer recovery period despite a swift COVID-19 vaccination rollout, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson saying it was too soon to say whether summer holidays abroad can go ahead this year.

Saga made a profit of 17.1 million pounds on an underlying basis for the 12 months ended Jan. 31, with its insurance business bringing in earnings of 134.6 million pounds during the year. Its travel segment lost 78.5 million pounds.

The total earnings compared with a profit of 109.9 million pounds reported a year earlier and surpassed the 9.8 million pounds analysts' consensus as per company-supplied estimate.

The owner of Saga Holidays and Saga Cruises, which did not provide earnings outlook for the current year, had to secure a debt waiver in March after a cash call last year to get through the health crisis.

It had earlier planned to restart its cruises in May, taking measures including mandating vaccinations for its travellers after customer feedback, cutting guest capacity and having a multi-layer COVID-19 testing to attract people.


($1 = 0.7235 pounds)

(Reporting by Muvija M and Chris Thomas, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Jane Merriman)

Apr 7, 2021

 

Finance

Damen, Purus Marine Offering Green Financing

(Photo: Damen)

Damen Shipyards Group is partnering with Purus Marine, an environmentally focused maritime vessel

Sovcomflot Ready to Buy Back up to $400 Mln of Eurobond-2023

(Photo: Sovcomflot)

Russia's biggest shipping company Sovcomflot says, according to Interfax news agency:The company

Survitec Completes $372M Refinancing

Survitec completed a $372M refinancing with funds managed or advised by the Credit Group of Ares Management Corporation.“Successfully concluding this financing demonstrates the

Passenger Vessels

TT Line Circles Back to Rauma Shipyard for RoPax Pair

(Image: Rauma Marine Constructions)

Finnish shipbuilder Rauma Marine Constructions (RMC) said on Wednesday that it has secured an

Carnival Avoids Stance on Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccinations for Travelers

© K I Photography / Adobe Stock

Carnival Corp, the world’s largest cruise operator, is currently not taking a position on

GONDAN Building 10 Electric Ferries for Transtejo

(Image: Gondan)

Spanish shipbuilder Astilleros GONDAN said it is gearing up to start building a series of 10 fully

Maritime Apps