Booking volumes were down 53% in the final three months of the online travel agent’s financial year to September 30, after falling 75% in the third quarter to end-June.
Full-year profit before tax will be hit by exceptional costs and brand amortisation, with an expected £45mln cost from the expectation that cancelled holidays will continue over the winter, with cancellation rates in excess of 90% across summer 2020, well above the board’s assumption at the half-year.
Total customer refunds of £160mln have been made in cash since March 15, of which £90mln is for flights though only £79mln has been received from airlines for cancelled flights so far, with £11mln still awaited despite the company refunding flight costs in advance of receipt “in order to protect the brand and generate customer goodwill”.
Chief executive Simon Cooper said: “It is clear now that the full impact of Covid-19 will be every bit as extreme as any of us could have mapped out at the beginning of the year.”
But as of November 6 the group had cash in the bank of £44mln, having raised £65mln net from a share placing in May, and has access to an as-yet-undrawn £75mln credit facility.
In the event of revenues falling completely to zero, the company would have a cash burn of roughly £2mln per month.
The shares were up 3% to 274p mid-morning on Monday.