On The Beach says it still expects to hit its annual growth targets despite a spike in seat prices and a reduction in bookings following the collapse of Monarch last October.
The group on Thursday (May 10) reported “solid” adjusted pre-tax profits of £14.0m, up 15%, for the six months to the end of March (H1), taking into account an estimated £1.1m hit in lost bookings due to winter seat availability and pricing, brought on by the Monarch failure.
However, speaking to TTG on Thursday, chief executive Simon Cooper said the situation following the Monarch collapse “continued to improve by the week”.
“It’s been helpful some destinations in the eastern Med have come back with a vengeance,” he said.
Group revenue increased 19% from £38.1m to £45.3m on the same period last year, while net debt of £11.6m reflects On The Beach’s £12m acquisition of sunshine.co.uk in May last year, which the group in February had enjoyed “substantial” growth in revenue.
International revenue, meanwhile, increased 51% from £600,000 to £900,000 during H1, its strongest performance since launch, supported by investment in Sweden and Norway - and with Denmark to launch this month.
The OTA, Britain’s fifth largest Atol holder, rising to fourth following the Sunshine acquisition and extension of its Atol licence, also revealed unique visitors to its website, increased 24% on H1 2017 from 27.5 million to 34.1 million.
Cooper said strong booking, share growth and “modest, tactical” discounting had driven the company’s H1 performance.
He said flight capacity was continuing to recover, alleviating winter constraints and fuelling board confidence of delivering “a full year result in line with management’s expectations”.
Cooper also revealed the group had leased a new “digital HQ” in Manchester to support the OTA’s growth, due to be operational by the end of the year.
Meanwhile, Richard Segal, On The Beach’s non-executive chairman, will stand down after nearly five years in post.
He will be succeeded by serving senior independent non-executive director Lee Ginsberg at an undisclosed date, at which time David Kelly will become senior independent director.
The group said Segal had led On The Beach through a “period of strong change and growth” and was deeply grateful for his contribution and guidance.