All Leisure Group reported a £4.66 million operating loss in the half year to April not including the cost of the ash disruption, following a 6% fall in revenue year on year to £32.4 million.
However, the interim results pleased City analysts, with All Leisure’s brokers Panmure Gordon describing the figures as “better than expectations”.
All Leisure comprises Voyages of Discovery, Swan Hellenic, Discover Egypt Holidays and Hebridean Island Cruises.
The group reported a six-month loss of almost £4.5 million, compared with a £1.2 million loss at the same stage in 2009 when it finished the year with a £2.6 million profit. It calculated the loss of revenue due to volcanic-ash disruption at £1.4 million.
Chairman Roger Allard said the results were in line with forecasts “despite challenging market conditions and adverse exchange rates”. He pointed out the group had both bought an additional ship, the Alexander von Humboldt, and cleared its debt during the six-month period.
Allard said he was confident load factors this summer would exceed summer 2009.
Panmure Gordon told investors: “Current trading is encouraging with summer 2010 volumes and prices up year on year and winter 2010/11 volumes strongly ahead.”