Published on Monday, June 13, 2011

For Sale sign goes up on two leading brands

Holidaybreak is believed to be looking to sell off Superbreak and Explore in order to focus on its profitable education division, which includes PGL, the market leader in outdoor activity holidays for school children.

It is understood to have appointed accountants KPMG to find buyers for several of its businesses, including the short breaks specialist and adventure travel operator, according to the Sunday Times.

Holidaybreak also owns camping brands Eurocamp and Keycamp but these are not believed to be part of the sell-off, said the report.

The operator made a pre-tax loss of £19.3m during the first half of this year, £1.5m more than in 2010. Sales in it Hotel Breaks Division were down 9%.

Superbreak's sales were affected by the loss of UK airport hotel contracts with large retail travel agents, though this was described by the company as 'low margin business'. Excluding these contracts, sales were down 6% year on year.

By Linsey McNeill

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  • Synergies at HolidayBreak

    The earnings and P/E ratio of HolidayBreak rose as the management under Richard Atkinson combined the cashflow and seasonality of camping with a series of intelligent niche travel buys e.g. Superbreak and Explore. At one stage HolidayBreak was a highly respected business with an astute team of travel industry specialists guiding its success through turbulent times. The purchase price and funding arrangements of the PGL acquisition and its financing costs are what nearly broke the company. Now we will have PGL plus camping. What a tragedy that the Atkinson legacy has been squandered.

    By David Burdon, Monday, June 13, 2011

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