Manchester-based online holiday retailer On the Beach Group plc (OTB) said its group sales were 16% ahead of the 2019 financial year in the 12 months to September 30, 2022, with growth in 5-star holiday sales of 83%.
However, sales of its core 3-star holidays for FY22 were 18% below FY19.
In an update on trading for the 12 months to September 30, 2022, On the Beach Group said its underlying profit before tax performance for the year is in line with market expectations.
“The Omicron variant heavily impacted group sales in November and December 2021, and into the key booking period of early January 2022,” said the company.
“Consumer demand remained materially below H1FY19 levels until restrictions were eased in mid-January.
“In H2FY22, group sales were 25% ahead of H2FY19, despite the indirect consequences of the war in Ukraine and ongoing disruption across the travel supply chain as the sector continued to recover from the pandemic.
“Over the full year, FY22 Group Sales were 16% ahead of FY19 …
“The group has materially invested in its brand, technology, and customer proposition throughout the year.
“This includes offering a differentiated customer experience with premium lounges and fast track security, increasing headcount in technology and customer service areas, and investing in above the line media to drive awareness of the brand.
“These investments, combined with improved access to a broader hotel portfolio have resulted in FY22 growth in 5* holiday sales of 83% vs FY19, contributing to total FY22 ABV growth of 31% versus FY19.
“On the Beach also continues to make good progress in B2B and Long Haul. B2B sales were 45% ahead of FY19. Long Haul sales were 257% up vs FY19.
“Partly due to continued rising costs of living, the lates market for value holidays has remained subdued in H2FY22 and as a result, sales of 3* holidays for FY22 were 18% below FY19.
“The group is committed to maintaining its focus on this important segment and growing its share of value holidays …”
On the Beach Group CEO Simon Cooper said: “I am pleased with the group’s performance in what was another disrupted and unpredictable year.
“Whilst Omicron significantly impacted Q1 and into Q2, the second half delivered a 25% sales improvement on H2FY19, contributing to a full year group sales performance 16% ahead of FY19.
“Both the group’s long haul segment and 5* holiday sales delivered substantial growth in the year and we will continue to grow these important revenue streams.
“I am also confident that we will take market share in the group’s core 3* holiday product in FY23.
“Despite the tougher trading conditions at the end of the year, the strength of the group’s balance sheet ensures we are well placed to deliver further strategic progress in FY23, and the board will continue to appraise opportunities for growth.”