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On the Beach sinks to loss as Covid-19 smashes tourism sector

By BFN News | 09:00 AM | Tuesday 30 June, 2020

Online travel agent On the Beach swung to a first-half loss after the Covid-19 crisis hammered international tourism markets. Pre-tax losses for the six months through March amounted to £34.1m, compared to a profit of £11.9m. Revenue slumped 66% to £21.4m. The company did not declare an interim dividend. The bleak result included exceptional costs of £34.7m, which the company said represented the estimated cost of Covid-19 to trading in the first half. Net debt at 31 May was £13.0m, excluding customer monies held in a ring-fenced trust account of £68.8m. The company's cash position, following a share placing on 22 May, was £50.5m excluding £54.8m of customer monies held in trust and after repayment of a £30m revolving credit facility. On the Beach reiterated that it also had access to a £75m revolving credit facility which, at 31 May, remained undrawn. 'The directors believe that the group's asset light business model, alongside trust account protection for customers, places the company in a strong position for the future,' On the Beach said. On current trading, the company said there had been a significant increase in bookings from mid-June, albeit from a very low base. Booking volumes for summer 2021 remained low, but were significantly ahead of the prior year, partially due to the early release of flights for next year by most major airlines. 'The board believes the business is well-positioned to grow market share as demand for holidays recovers,' On the Beach said. 'Whilst this recovery is likely to take some time and the consumer environment will continue to be challenging, the group remains confident in the resilience and flexibility of our business model and believe there is an exciting opportunity to increase our market share over the short to medium term.' At 9:00am: (LON:OTB) On The Beach Group Plc share price was -7.25p at 294.75p Story provided by

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