Published on Tuesday, October 25, 2016

On the Beach reveals international expansion plans

On the Beach has announced plans to launch in Norway, its second international market, before the end of the year.

In a trading update this morning, it said that it was continuing to make progress in Sweden, where it launched in January 2015.

Overall, the online travel agent said its performance for the year to the end of September was 'marginally' ahead of the top end of market expectations.

The Group added that it had 'traded well in a difficult market'. It admitted that it had slower than expected revenue growth while it focused on delivering profitable growth.

Revenue was up 18% to £36 million, after marketing costs were stripped out.

In the UK, said it had also increased its market share, with daily unique visitors to its site increasing 13% to 61 million.

"Since our trading update in July 2016, demand for beach holidays has remained resilient despite the impact of terrorist attacks, the failure of Low Cost Travel Group and the weakening of sterling," it said in a statement.

"Management believes that overall demand for short-haul beach holidays was suppressed versus the previous year but that, as one of the most visible online beach holiday brands, On the Beach remains well-placed to benefit from this ongoing structural shift in consumer behaviour."

In Sweden, daily unique visitors to the eBeach site in FY16 were up 52% to 2.3 million, while cost per unique visitor reduced by 18%.

The Group will announce its audited preliminary results on December 6.

Simon Cooper, chief executive of On the Beach, said: "FY16 has been an extraordinary and unprecedented year for the travel industry.

"Amidst these difficult conditions, the Group's solid revenue and profit performance is testament to the strength and flexibility of our agile business model and this has enabled us to deliver a year of highly profitable growth.

"In spite of the challenges faced, the Group has continued to grow market share and this has been delivered by executing a simple strategy of optimising our customer proposition to increase conversion and improve margin. The successful execution of this strategy provides further evidence of our ability to steal market share from traditional tour operators."

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