Saga reports ‘exceptional’ start to year for cruise business

Saga’s ocean and river cruise divisions have seen an “exceptional’ start to the year, the over-50s specialist revealed today in a trading update.

Booked load factors are ahead of the same time last year at 83% and 78% respectively with improved revenues.

The group’s tour operator bookings are also ahead year-on-year, with booked revenue up 14% on an undisclosed higher number of passengers.

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Saga hails ‘outstanding year’ for cruise and travel businesses

Saga said: “We are continuing to explore partnership opportunities within ocean cruise and insurance that would support our growth ambitions, crystallise value and enhance long-term returns for shareholders.”

The company confirmed in January that it was considering a “partnership arrangement” for its two-ship ocean cruise arm.

Sag said it has “traded in line with expectations” for the first four months and “remains on track” for the full year.

Chief executive Mike Hazell, reporting on the trading period between February 1 and June 24, said: “Saga has made a good start to the new financial year. 

“Our ocean cruise business has traded exceptionally well and, in Insurance, we have continued to take actions within a market which remains challenging. 

“Looking ahead, we are focused on driving sustainable business growth in a capital-light way, while growing our customer base and deepening our connections with those customers.”

Saga’s interim results for the six months to July 31 are due to be issued on October 2.

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