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On the Beach reports half-year loss but growing demand in recent weeks

Booking volumes for next summer are much higher than usual due to the early release of flights for next year by most major airlines

On the Beach Group -

On the Beach Group PLC (LON:OTB) reported a tumble to half-year losses due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic but said recent weeks have seen a significant increase in demand for holidays.

Boosted by reports that the government is ready to jettison its 14-day coronavirus quarantine rule for travel to and from certain locations, the online travel agent said there had been a sizeable rise in demand for departures this year, “albeit from a very low base”.

READ: On The Beach raises £67mln to strengthen balance sheet as coronavirus hits travel sector

Booking volumes for next summer are significantly higher than usual due to the early release of flights for next year by most major airlines.

Most airlines are resuming flights in July, although this is at a significantly reduced level, and the OTB board said it “believes the business is well-positioned to grow market share as demand for holidays recovers”.

“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.”

The government is this week expected to provide an official announcement on “air bridge” arrangements with several European countries.

The results for the six months to March 31 showed a £34.1mln loss before tax compared to an £11.9mln profit a year earlier, as revenue fell 66% to £21.4mln. At May 31 the group's cash position was £50.5mln.

Chief financial officer Paul Meehan has also tendered his resignation after three and a half years at the group and will leave in mid-July, to be replaced by the current director of finance Shaun Morton.

Quick facts: On the Beach Group

Price: 269 GBX

LSE:OTB
Market: LSE
Market Cap: £423.3 m
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