Cruise ship, insurance and tour operator, Saga said that it is closely monitoring COVID-19’s evolving situation.
The Group confirmed that is cruise and tour businesses had experienced an increase in near-term cancellations, due to the virus outbreak.
“Our Tour Operations businesses have experienced an increase in cancellations and suppressed demand in line with the industry,” Saga said in a trading update. “Forward passenger bookings for 2020/21 were down around 20% versus the prior year, with a more significant impact in recent weeks.”
The company said that it had seen a higher level of cancellations for departures in the near-term and more generally a lower level of bookings for departures further out, although Saga’s two most recent departures had load factors of about 80%.
The evolution of COVID-19 and the impact this will have on full year earnings for 2020/21 cannot be predicted with any certainty at the current time, the company warned.
Saga anticipated that its travel business will be affected by the coronavirus. It added that cost efficiency actions are already underway to mitigate the weaker trading.
The group, which will release its full-year results on 2nd April, reiterated that underlying profit before tax is expected to be in line with expectations.