All Leisure warns of cruise sales slowdown

All Leisure warns of cruise sales slowdown

The owner of Voyages of Discovery, Swan Hellenic and Hebridean Island Cruises admitted the Costa Concordia disaster had triggered a sales slump and heavy discounting.

A full review of costs is to be conducted by niche cruise group All Leisure due to increased overheads.

Executive chairman Roger Allard described trading as “considerably more challenging this year than envisaged”.

Speaking at the group’s annual meeting, he said: “As a result of the tragic sinking of Costa Concordia and other related issues in the cruise market, sales have slowed down considerably and have only been revived by significant discounting.

“This is happening across the cruise industry and is compounded by the unprecedented headwinds of natural disasters, geo-political events, worsening economic conditions, low interest rates, increasing oil price and the crisis in the eurozone.

“Added to this, we have only seen a slow increase in bookings on our Discover Egypt brand since the Arab Spring of last year.”

He added: “Bearing in mind the increasing overheads and the board’s duty to maximise returns for the group’s shareholders, it is in the process of carrying out a full review of its cost base.”

Allard said higher-than-usual winter losses were planned for as a result of two vessels being in dry dock for the period.

A proposed dividend related to shares held by the board has been waived. A final dividend of 1.31p per share payable on May 2 will be made to all other shareholders.

“We have hedged the majority of our currency requirements for this financial year at rates that are currently better than spot,” Allard said. “We have also covered approximately 30% of our fuel requirements for this financial year through fuel hedges.”


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