March 5, 2020 / 7:27 AM / a month ago

Saga says cruises and tours hit by coronavirus cancellations

LONDON, March 5 (Reuters) - Travel and insurance group Saga said it has seen a higher level of near-term cancellations for its cruises and tours due to the coronavirus epidemic.

Forward passenger tour bookings were down around 20% versus the prior year, with a more significant impact in recent weeks, the UK group that caters for the over-50s said in a statement on Thursday.

It said it had seen a higher level of cruise cancellations for departures in the near-term and more generally a lower level of bookings for departures further out, although its two most recent departures had load factors of around 80%.

“The evolution of Covid-19 and the impact this will have on full year earnings for 2020/21 cannot be predicted with any certainty at the current time,” Saga said.

The group’s insurance business is expected to remain largely unaffected, it added. Saga said it will provide a full update on April 2, and reiterated that underlying profit before tax is expected to be in line with expectations. (Reporting by Huw Jones Editing by Rachel Armstrong)

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