Secret Escapes returns to profit as travel restarts…

Secret Escapes Group fell back into the black last year after suffering £31.2m losses in 2020 as the pandemic shut down all international travel.

Online travel and experience company made a profit [ebitda] of £5.4 million in the 12 months to 31 December 2021 despite Covid-related disruption in the first half and end of the year.

Trade reached nearly 80% of 2019 levels between June and October 2021.

The recovery in trade followed the launch of the vaccine and the gradual easing of domestic and international travel restrictions, according to the company, which includes European travel brands such as Secret Escapes, Travelist, Slevomat, Zl’avomat and Pigsback.com.

The group said it has recovered well following the end of the UK’s third lockdown between January and May 2021 and the gradual lifting of domestic and international travel restrictions in Europe.

“Trading exceeded management expectations, returning to positive operating cash flows and profitability. From June to October 2021, trading levels returned to 80% of pre-pandemic levels,” the company added.

There was “significant pent-up demand” for travel and experiences and the group continued to benefit from its diversification across different territories, as well as its ability to tailor its range of available offerings to customer demand.

“Continuing travel disruption in 2021 meant that demand for domestic and/or manageable stays was the strongest. The group’s German and European markets performed particularly well,” said Secret Escapes.

CEO Alex Saint said: “The impact of the pandemic over the past two years, its ongoing aftershocks and the outbreak of war in Ukraine have been a major challenge for the travel industry.

“Despite these challenges, we have seen resilient demand for travel and experiences from our customers throughout 2021, allowing us to return to profitability.

“As the cost of living crisis spreads across Europe, our ability to rapidly adapt our available range to meet demand while offering the best prices and driving incremental trade for our hotel and holiday partners will serve us well. very useful as customers search for the best trip. deals.”

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