After having faced numerous challenges that resulted from the events of september 11th and the ensuing difficulties that affected the travel sector, Club Méditerranée announces positive growth this quarter in its main markets over the last few weeks: - In Europe, in winter 2002, the total volume of its 3 and 4 trident snow villages has increased 9,4 % compared with 2001: - In the United States, winter sales have increased over the past two weeks;- Jet tours has made a strong recovery since January 2002 and is continuously gaining market share.
These first tangible signs are appearing after a quarter that greatly challenged the travel sector, following the events of September 11th. Turnover for the Club Méditerranée group in the first quarter of 2002 (November - December - January) was 336.8 million Euros compared to 394.5 million Euros during the same period las year, a drop of 14.6 %.
These figures reflect an 18.4% drop in activity in GM numbers and 17.7% in the total number of clients ( including Jet tours). On a like-for-like basis with constant exchange rates this equals a drop of 16.8 %.
Given delays in making second quarter reservations during the first quarter, and despite a recent rise in reservations for the end of the winter, second quarter trends should be almost identical to those of the first quarter.
Regarding the summer season, given the late booking trend noted after September 11th, we confirm that it would not be reasonable to provide any forecasts.
The 2001 financial year, the accounts of which are to be approved today by AGM shareholders, demonstrated Club Méditerranée`s solid basis and resilience in a difficult financial cycle. The company`s strength results from a profitable economic model in Europe-Africa and in the Asia-Pacific, a solid financial basis and regular increases in market share.
Club Méditerranée is at an advantage due to several key assets : its concept, hailed by 84% of GMs who intend to return, and the quality of its service reflected by the 3.8 point growth of those that responded with being ” very satisfied ” with the company. In addition, GMs and its brand strength are also key factors, since consumers turn to top brands during times of crisis. Club Med is also hailed by more than 76% of the French, far ahead of any of its competitors. (These numbers are based on the results of a SOFRES survey).
In line with the plan announced on 18 October 2001, Club Med relaunched its marketing and global advertising campaign. The campaign in Europe, ” What are we waiting for ? ” [” Qu`est-ce qu`on attend ?”] and in the U.S, ” Wanna Play ? ” which has been running for the past few weeks, reinforced the entire framework implemented in order to stimulate demand.
In North America, in addition to measures aimed at reducing capacity by 21% in 2002 and the reduction of neutrality representing 12 millions euros, a specific plan of action was launched to stimulate growth in the United States:- implementation of targeted, aggressive marketing and sales campaigns as of this spring; - the creation of an innovative programme of special offers for independent travel agents, including restructured rates policies and the introduction of more flexible rates for stays (sale of stays not including transport in order to provide more competitive offers);- adaptation of the Club Med product for the young adult market (bar bracelets to strengthen the ” all inclusive ” concept);- implementation of a direct marketing programme for agencies (mail shots, visits, seminars,...);- increase of salesforce in order to have representation in all of the main cities of North America, in addition to our strategic markets, New York and Los Angeles.
Furthermore, and continuing along the lines of what has already been implemented, Club Méditerranée`s accelerated resegmentation of its offer is enabling the company to continuously tranform itself into a tourism and leisure group.
This strategy is reflected in the opening of new 3 and 4 trident villages (the latest being Serre-Chevalier and Cervinia in December 2001; Napitia, in Italy, should open in May this year and Trancoso, in Brazil, at the end of the year) and the transformation of some villages from 2 trident to 3 trident (for example, Smir in Morocco and Nabeul in Tunisia).
Club Méditerranée`s innovation is reflected in the implementation of the new Club Med Gym concept in France in September 2002, the introduction of new activities in the villages ( Flysurf, Club Med Fitness, nature villages, brief stays) and new 4 trident family village projects (Lido dei Corali in Sardinia, Pesey Nancroix in Savoie).
Philippe Bourguignon, Chairman of the Executive Board, stated:” I am confident that Club Méditerranée will be back on the path to profitable growth once potential Club Med clients rediscover their taste for travel in the long term, thus confirming the first signs of recovery. The measures that were decided upon and rapidly implemented following the events in 2001 were only possible thanks to the exceptional responsiveness of our teams. Difficult circumstances have affected our entire sector but our specific assets make us very competitive today, as is confirmed by our gains in market share. I am more than ever convinced of the relevance of our strategic choices founded on the distinguished, high-quality service we offer, rigorous management and our clients` renewed confidence. All of this is what Club Méditerranée is really all about and this is why we are optimistic about the future.”