On the Beach Group has increased half-year profits by 14% despite Brexit uncertainties and the collapse of Primera Air.
The OTA saw adjusted pre-tax profits of £15.7 million in the six months to 31 March, an increase of £1.9 million year-on-year. Revenue rose 41% to £63.5 million.
The UK operation (On the Beach UK and Sunshine.co.uk) increased revenue 1% to £44.6 million and saw adjusted pre-tax earnings rise 10% to £18.4 million. International revenue fell 56% to £0.4 million.
On the Beach said: “Revenue was heavily impacted by the failure of Primera in early October 2018. This was offset by a 75% reduction in marketing spend.” The net result was a loss of £0.2 million.
On the Beach Group chief executive Simon Cooper said the first half had been a “solid performance”.
“This performance has been delivered against a soft background market, particularly in the important first calendar quarter, when uncertainties regarding Brexit impacted consumer appetite for booking holidays,” he said.
“Independent market data shows that a significant proportion of consumers deferred their holiday purchase in the run-up to the 29 March deadline and our understanding is that the background market has been trading down 10% year-on-year in 2019.”
The first half included the March launch of Classic Package Holidays, the agent-only booking portal, which incurred start-up costs of £500,000.
On the Beach also integrated Emirates and British Airways onto its platform to expand its long-haul offering and moved to new digital headquarters in Manchester. It also expanded its operational HQ in Cheadle.
“Looking forward, we continue to remain cautious of the consumer environment until a Brexit resolution is found, but the resilient and flexible nature of our business model allows us to focus on profitable growth and gives us confidence in the group’s outlook. We will continue to evaluate opportunities to enhance our market share position," Cooper said.