Holidaybreak shrugs off ash crisis as sales rise

Holidaybreak shrugs off ash crisis as sales rise

A surge in sales has helped leisure and activity travel group Holidaybreak cut net debt by £30m and reduce first-half losses.

The travel group, which owns brands including Eurocamp and PGL, also said the impact of the volcanic eruption in Iceland was “expected to be immaterial to overall financial performance”.

Pre-tax losses came in at £20m, compared with £36.6m the same period last year.

Underlying pre-tax losses were £17.7m, down from £18.1m last time.

The company traditionally reports a loss in the first half due to the seasonal nature of its education and camping businesses.

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Holidaybreak chairman John Coleman said: “Sales intake relative to last year has improved, reflecting the fact that customers are booking later.”

“We continue to look at ways of exploiting opportunities for investment in our education businesses while remaining focused on cash generation and cost control across the group.”

Revenue fell 2 per cent to £150.2m, and the interim dividend is 3.2p. Hotel sales fell 3 per cent, adventure travel was down 2 per cent, camping rose 2 per cent and the education division was flat.