Online travel and experiences firm announces trading figures for the year to December 31
Secret Escapes back in profit as travel restarted following the COVID pandemic
Secret Escapes Group returned to the black last year after suffering losses of £31.2 million in 2020 as the pandemic shut down all international travel.
The online travel and experiences company achieved earnings [ebitda] of £5.4 million in the 12 months to December 31, 2021 despite Covid-related disruption in the first half and end of the year.
Trading reached almost 80% of 2019 levels between June and October 2021.
The recovery in trading followed the vaccine roll out and gradual release 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 recovered well following the end of the third UK lockdown between January and May 2021 and the gradual lifting of European domestic and international travel restrictions.
“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 offers to suit customer demand.
“The ongoing travel disruption in 2021 meant that demand for domestic and/or driveable stays was the strongest. The group’s German and European markets performed particularly well,” Secret Escapes said.
Chief executive Alex Saint said: “The impact of the pandemic over the last two years, its ongoing aftershocks and the outbreak of war in Ukraine has been very challenging for the travel industry.
“Despite these challenges, we have seen resilient demand for travel and experiences from our customers throughout 2021 which saw us return to profitability.
“As the cost of living crisis spreads across Europe, our ability to rapidly tailor our available range to meet demand while offering the best prices and driving incremental trade for our hotel and holiday partners will stand us in good stead as customers seek out the best travel deals.”