All Leisure battered by fuel price and currency swings

ALL Leisure Group, the owner of luxury cruise ships such as the Hebridean Princess, said yesterday it managed to stay in the black for the past year, though it did not escape the punishing effects of the recession and adverse currency and fuel price movements.

The group, which operates the Swan Hellenic and Voyages of Discovery travel brands, said annual pre-tax profit fell 70.8 per cent to £2.6m over the year to October, on turnover which inched up to £73.6m from £67.5m in the previous year.

Chairman Roger Allard said trading remained challenging across the leisure industry, with the improvement in consumer confidence offset by the weakness of sterling putting pressure on costs.

However, Allard added that the group had expanded its fleet after the period end, with the purchase of the Alexander von Humboldt cruise ship in November.

But All Leisure said it would be well-placed for further growth due to the “fundamental attractions” of its niche markets.

The group believes high levels of repeat business, strong revenue visibility due to early sales, the attractive tonnage tax regime, the strength of its established brands and the barriers to entry provided by regulators’ growing focus on safety and consumer protection are all key drivers of its future success.