Wednesday 7 April 2021 7:40 am

Cruise ship operator Saga's profit plunges as travel restrictions continue

Saga, the over 50s holiday and insurance provider, suffered a sharp drop in profit during the coronavirus pandemic due to the negative impact of restrictions on international travel. 

Underlying profit before tax plunged 84.4 per cent from £109.9m to £17.1m, it said this morning.

However, the cruise ship operator posted a statutory loss before tax of £61.2m in the year ended 31 January, compared to a £300.9m loss in the previous year.

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The loss was largely due to a £59.8m impairment of travel goodwill in the first half of the year.

Revenue plunged 57.7 per cent from £797.3m in 2020 to £337.6m this year due to the suspension of Saga’s travel business from March last year.

Lower retail broking revenues also impacted the headline figure due to the reduction in travel insurance sales and Saga’s sale of the Bennetts business in August last year.

Saga, which has made 36 per cent of its workforce redundant during the Covid crisis, said it is ready to resume its tour operations and cruise business this year, when government guidance allows.

Euan Sutherland, chief executive of Saga, said: “Looking ahead, while we are mindful of economic headwinds and the potential ongoing impacts of Covid-19, it is clear that there is significant pent-up demand among our customer base, the vast majority of whom 

have now been vaccinated and are ready to enjoy post-lockdown freedom. 

“Saga is a proud British business, with a strong brand, loyal customers and great people and we are excited about the opportunities ahead.

“We look forward to relaunching our brand later in 2021 which will only enhance our ability to unlock the potential in Saga, returning the business to sustainable growth and creating significant long-term value for all our investors and stakeholders.”

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