Melia Pro

Published on Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Saga confirms around 100 staff have been made redundant

Over-50s specialist Saga has confirmed that it has made around 100 staff redundant just three weeks before Christmas.

The firm, which lost £2 million as a result of the Monarch collapse, did not give any further details about which jobs had been axed, but several of the management team are believed to have been laid off.

The editor of its monthly magazine, Kate Bravery, and art director Paul Hayes-Watkins are also believed to be among the redundancies.

In a statement, Saga said: "This process is being managed sensitively with all of Saga's impacted employees.

"We are consulting with all those affected and until this process is complete we are unable to confirm the changes that will be made.

"Like many companies, we review our structure on a regular basis and in taking this action our objective is to make the business more efficient, customer focused and sustainable in the long term."

Saga did not make any mention of the redundancies in a trading update released this morning, in which it said that Monarch's collapse had cost the firm £2 million, however it said it would make £10 million cost savings next year.

It told investors that its underlying group pre-tax profit for the year ending in January 2018 would be only between 1% and 2%.

"This has been impacted by more challenging trading in insurance broking during the period and the Monarch Airlines administration, which has affected our tour operations business," the company said.
"Our travel segment continues to trade well and is expected to be strongly ahead of the prior year.

"However, the tour operations business has been impacted by the collapse of Monarch Airlines with an approximate one-off cost of £2 million."

The group, which also includes publishing and personal finance, said the £10 million cost savings next year would come from completing a review of its operating structure at a one-off cost of about £4 million.

"We expect an increase in the profitability of our broking and travel businesses next year, including the approximately £10 million of annualised savings from the actions we have taken in the current year," the group said.

However, it warned that underlying pre-tax profit is expected to be 5% lower than the current year.

CEO Lance Batchelor said: "Against a backdrop of some challenging trading conditions in our final quarter, we continue to develop the business for the long term.

"With greater customer insight and a stronger business platform, now is the right time for Saga to invest in growing the customer base and the business."

According to local news reports, staff are upset at the group's decision to go ahead with its '£100,000' Christmas party on Friday, just days after making 100 people redundant.

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