Demand for beach holidays remained resilient over the summer despite the impact of terrorist attacks, the failure of LowcostTravelGroup and the weakening of sterling, On the Beach reported today.
The online holiday group admitted that it has seen slower than expected revenue growth in the UK, up 12% to £70 million from £62.5 million last year, against a “challenging” market backdrop.
However, in a trading update today, the company said it expects underlying pre-tax profit performance for the period to be marginally ahead of the top end of market expectations.
“Against the challenging market backdrop our focus has been on delivering profitable growth,” On the Beach said.
The group has continued to grow market share, with daily unique visitors increasing by 13% year-on-year to 61 million.
“Management believes that overall demand for short-haul beach holidays was suppressed versus the previous year but that, as one of the most visible online beach holiday brands, On the Beach remains well-placed to benefit from this ongoing structural shift in consumer behavior,” the company said.
On the Beach’s first international market of Sweden was launched in January 2015 and was followed by Norway this year.
Group chief executive Simon Cooper said: “Full year ‘16 has been an extraordinary and unprecedented year for the travel industry.
“Amidst these difficult conditions, the group’s solid revenue and profit performance is testament to the strength and flexibility of our agile business model and this has enabled us to deliver a year of highly profitable growth.
“In spite of the challenges faced, the group has continued to grow market share and this has been delivered by executing a simple strategy of optimising our customer proposition to increase conversion and improve margin.
“The successful execution of this strategy provides further evidence of our ability to steal market share from traditional tour operators.”
The group will announce annual results on December 6.