Saga profits hit following the collapse of Monarch Airlines

Monarch airlines plane

The group's growth in underlying profit before tax (PBT) is expected to be between 1 percent and 2 percent for the year ended January 31, 2018.

"This has been impacted by more challenging trading in insurance broking during the period and the Monarch Airlines administration, which has affected our tour operations business", the group stated.

When Monarch went into administration in October, resulting in the UK's biggest peacetime repatriation of holidaymakers stranded overseas, Saga had to switch to other carriers and said this would add £2m to its costs.

Saga has completed a review of the operating structure which will realise approximately £10 million of annualised savings in 2018.

When Monarch airlines dissolved back in October, Saga had to switch to other carriers which resulted in one-off costs of £2 million.

In September, Saga unveiled plans for a concierge-style scheme offering customers "VIP access" to events and "money can't buy" experiences as part of an effort to rebrand itself.

The analysts said: "The trading update is clearly negative for the company in the short-term, but we believe that the additional customer acquisition spend for targeted marketing will be positive for the future growth of the company to capture new business".

The company expects its investment to return the number of retail broking policies and holiday passengers to growth, and it remains on track to hit its target of increasing the profit before tax of its travel segment by four to five times by the 2022 financial year.

It expects overall pre-tax profits to grow between 1% and 2% when it reports its annual results in April.

Lance Batchelor, chief executive of Saga, said that the firm continues to develop the business for the long term against a backdrop of "challenging trading conditions".

As well as the Monarch blow, Saga also said its insurance arm suffered hard trading in the home and travel divisions, with earned profit for retail broking expected to fall "marginally" over the current financial year.

"We are confident that the actions taken will ultimately see a better quality of earnings and profit growth across the business". "But lower reserve releases and a rapid decline in benefits from the introduction of the motor broker panel shouldn't be coming as a surprise to management".



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