British cruise and travel company Saga said that is cruise and tour businesses have experienced an increase in near-term cancellations due to the evolving coronavirus outbreak.
“Our Tour Operations businesses have experienced an increase in cancellations and suppressed demand in line with the industry,” Saga informed in a trading update.
“Forward passenger bookings for 2020/21 were down around 20% versus the prior year, with a more significant impact in recent weeks.”
As explained, the company has seen a higher level of cancellations for departures in the near-term and more generally a lower level of bookings for departures further out, although Saga’s two most recent departures had load factors of about 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,” the company noted.
Specifically, Saga anticipates its travel business to be affected by the coronavirus. It added that cost efficiency actions are already underway to mitigate the weaker trading.
The group, which will release its full-year results on April 2, reiterated that underlying profit before tax is expected to be in line with expectations.
As of March 6, the coronavirus outbreak has infected about 100,000 persons and killed about 3,400 people around the world.