Superbreak reports decline in trade sales

Superbreak  reports decline in trade sales

Superbreak sales through travel agents have been hit by faltering consumer confidence, parent company Holidaybreak reported today.

The short break operator has seen hotel break sales slump by 10% with overall group down by 4% compared with last year

Holidaybreak, which has agreed to a take over by Cox & Kings, reported sales declines across all its divisions for the period between March 31 and August 13.

But the hotel breaks division has suffered the steepest drop.

"Hotel breaks sales intake is 10% below last year with the ongoing difficult consumer environment affecting performance, particularly Superbreak's sales through the retail travel trade," the company said. "The loss at Superbreak of airport hotel contracts with large retail travel agents continues to affect performance adversely, although this is a low margin product.

"Excluding these airport hotel contracts, the underlying trend shows sales intake currently at 8% below last year."

Adventure sales are 3% below last year with the geopolitical events in the Middle East and North Africa "negatively impacting" performance.

Sales in the camping division are 2% below last year based on a 3% cut in capacity although there has been strong demand for late bookings in the UK and Holland, the company said.

Sales for the group's educational travel arm is 1% below last year. Holidaybreak said this has been "more than offset" by improvements in gross margin through effective yield management at PGL.

"Meininger, the German school accommodation business in which we acquired a 50% stake in December 2010, is 22% ahead of last year in sales intake. The excellent performance is driven by good like-for-like trading and successful site openings," the group's interim management statement said.

"With 98% of target group revenue booked, Holidaybreak is performing in line with management expectations for the year ending 30 September 2011."

Group chief executive Martin Davies said: "We continue to deliver a satisfying performance despite the tough economic environment. Particularly pleasing is the late demand for bookings at our camping division.

"We therefore remain confident of performing in line with management's expectations for the year ending 30 September 2011.

"Trading for 2011/12 is strong with our education businesses currently 61% booked with PGL UK outdoor education centres 84% booked. Overall, Education is showing revenue growth of 6% year on year."

No financial details were disclosed.


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