The UK’s leading online retailer of beach holidays provided a trading update to the London Stock Exchange this morning ahead of announcing its preliminary results on December 9.
As of September 30, 2021, the company had cash in excess of £55m, excluding customer prepayments of c.£40m which are held in a ring-fenced trust account.
On The Beach has access to a £75m credit facility which is undrawn and continues to refund all customers in cash and in full where their holidays are cancelled.
In a statement the company said: “Given the continued level of short-term uncertainty, it would not be appropriate to provide any financial guidance for the 2022 financial year.
“The board remains committed to investing for long-term market share gains in FY22, ahead of full market recovery.
“The board continues to believe that the strength of On The Beach’s balance sheet and flexible business model means the business is well-positioned to both sustain further significant disruption and to grow market share.”
The Government’s announcement in May of a traffic light system for leisure travel due to Covid caused ‘suppressed trading’ across the industry.
On The Beach restarted selling holidays to travel from early September, when it became clearer that overall confidence to book a holiday had increased.
The company said: “While demand for international leisure travel currently remains below pre-pandemic levels, our specific initiatives, including the free Covid tests promotion, combined with a further softening of Government restrictions, have stimulated bookings in the final weeks of the financial year.
“The increased awareness of brand and strengthening of trading over this period provides confidence that there is pent up demand for travel, and positions the business well as we enter 2022.”
Simon Cooper, chief executive of On the Beach Group, said: “The strategic initiatives we have taken throughout the year to best navigate the crisis and manage risk while investing in our brand, people and technology, ensure On the Beach is in a strong position as we head into our typically busiest booking period. Thanks to the continued support from our shareholders and lender, we remain well-funded to successfully and sustainably grow market share.
“I would like to thank the On the Beach team for their support and hard work as we continue to evolve towards a new normal of holidaying. Their creativity and ingenuity, which was the inspiration behind our recently launched free Covid test offer is a key reason why our customers are building back their confidence and On the Beach continues to thrive.”