Holidaybreak results: Snow hits sales, but target still in sight

Specialist tour operator Holidaybreak expects 2010 to “remain challenging” but still expects to hit its target for its financial year which runs to end-September.

Its interim statement released this morning covers the period from October 1 2009 to Febraury 15 2010. Overall, sales are 2% down compared with last year.

Holidaybreak operates four divisions. Hotel breaks, which includes Superbreak, is the largest, accounting for 30% of revenues. Sales here are 2% down, with  January’s snow in the UK impacting its high street sales.

Sales for European hotel  breaks from the UK “remain soft”.

Its education division accounts for 26% of group revenues. It is down, with snow again blamed for slowing down bookings in January.

It has already achieved 88% of its target revenues for the current year and is nearly one-fifth booked for the 2011 financial year. “We have not detected any material signs that the division is being affected by the recession,” it said.

Camping sales are currently 3% behind but on reduced capacity of 7%. It has taken 60% of its target revenue so far, compared with 64% at the same stage last year. The trend towards later booking, which is impacting all units, is to blame, it said.

Finally, the adventure division is 2% behind, although sales in the past four weeks have been 6% ahead. Explore is the main brand for the UK with Djosser operating in the Dutch market.

The City’s response to the statement has been negative. At 10am shares were trading at 242.50p, 1.75p or less than 1% down on last night’s close.

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