On the Beach up 25% amid vaccine, trading news

Shares of Manchester-based online holiday retailer On the Beach Group plc (OTB) soared about 25% on Monday after Pfizer and German partner BioNTech announced their experimental COVID-19 vaccine was more than 90% effective.

On the Beach Group had earlier on Monday announced an update on its trading for the 12 months to September 30 showing “a varied trading performance through Q3 and Q4 with booking volumes down 75% and 53% respectively YOY.”

The company said: “Due to strong cost control, adjusted profit before tax for the year (which excludes exceptional costs and brand amortisation) is at breakeven levels.

“Cancellation rates have been in excess of 90% across summer 2020, well above our assumption at the half year.

“The group expects it to continue at these levels over the winter.

“This has led to further exceptional costs of £10m in H2 which the group now expects to be £45m for the full year. 

“The group continues to work hard to refund all customers in cash and in full where their holidays are cancelled.

“OTB has continued to promptly refund the hotel and transfer elements of cancelled holidays from its fully ring-fenced customer trust account.

“There have been and continue to be substantial delays in receiving refunds from airlines.

“The group continues to pursue these rightful refund claims on behalf of its customers.”