Holiday group maintains sunny disposition despite £35m hit from Covid-19

Holiday firm On the Beach believes it is “well placed” to take advantage of the problems facing the travel industry, despite being hit by significant cancellation costs.

Covid-19 cost holiday firm On the Beach £34.7m in the weeks up until the end of March, its latest financial figures reveal.

The figure does not take into account the “significant reduction in booking volumes” in February and March, but is mostly made up of the cost of cancellations or expected cancellations.

On the Beach chief executive Simon Cooper said the group made “excellent progress” in the aftermath of the Thomas Cook collapse, before Covid-19 hit.

Despite the massive disruption and ongoing uncertainty for the sector, the business “continues to look to the future with confidence”.

Cooper said: “On the Beach continues to successfully build a leading position as more consumers discover the ease of use and wide choice of beach holidays across our platforms.

“The flexibility and asset light nature of our business model together with our recently strengthened balance sheet and the actions we have taken since the middle of March means we are well placed to capitalise on the inevitable structural changes in the market post COVID-19.”

Although the business expects the recovery in the holiday market “to take some time” it believes “there is an exciting opportunity to increase our market share over the short to medium term”.

The group has also announced its director of finance, Shaun Morton, is to step up to the role of chief financial officer to replace Paul Meehan who will leave next month “to pursue other business interests”.