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14 Jun 2021 | 08:16

Saga calls travel restart a 'priority'

(Sharecast News) - Saga said on Monday that its turnaround plan remained on track, but conceded that the resumption of travel was a priority. Updating on trading, the insurance and travel group - which specialises in the over 50s - said motor and home policy sales between 1 February and 13 June were down 2% on the same period a year previously. However, it added that trading had improved since the start of May and sales were now expected to be broadly flat over the first half.

Customer retention, meanwhile, was 80%, with an underlying margin of £74 per policy.

In its travel business, cruise load factors were 77% for 2021/22, and 48% for 2022/23. The cruise business was suspended in March 2020, but is due to resume on 27 June, subject to government restrictions. Tour bookings, meanwhile, represent 60% and 27% of the revenue targets for this financial year and the next.

Saga said it had contingency plans in place to manage should there be any delays to the easing of restrictions. The government is currently scheduled to lift all restrictions on 21 June but reports suggested that prime minister Boris Johnson was set to push that back by a month.

Looking ahead, Saga said: "Our focus remains on the consistent delivery of our strategy and our board has been encouraged by the continued progress in the first four months of the year.

"In travel, the resumption of sailing for both ships and restarting tours remains the priority, while in insurance, we aim to deliver consistent performance across our balanced scorecard."

Euan Sutherland, chief executive, said: "Saga has made further progress, delivering against all the pillars of our turnaround plan.

"Our focus on enhancing our financial position, while driving simplicity and efficiency across the business remains and we are well progressed with our plans for a brand relaunch and to transform our data and digital approach.

"While we are mindful of continued uncertainties around Covid-19 and the outlook for the consumer economy, we are confident we have the right strategy and people in place to return Saga to sustainable growth."
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