Saga posts interim results for half-year 2023

New CFO named as executive departs the business

Saga posts interim results for half-year 2023

Insurance News

By Mia Wallace

The over-50s travel and insurance group Saga Plc has today posted its interim results for the six months ended July 31 2023 – a period marked by double-digital revenue growth for cruise and travel.

Among the key financials published, it was revealed that the group’s revenue rose 15% year-on-year to £355.3 million while the group reported a loss before tax of £77.8 million, an improvement of 70% from the £261.8 million loss before tax reported for H1 2022. Saga noted that the loss before tax reflects a £68.1 million impairment of Insurance Broking goodwill.

Commenting on the results seen during the half-year period, Saga group CEO Euan Sutherland said he’s pleased to announce Saga’s revenue increase, which he accredited to the continued growth of its cruise and travel businesses, as well as further debt reduction. He noted that in Ocean Cruise, bookings are on track to achieve full-year targets while travel is also on track to return to profit for the full year.

“In insurance, we continue to develop our business against the backdrop of a difficult inflationary market,” he said. “While travel and private medical insurance are achieving strong year-on-year revenue growth, the performance in motor continues to weigh on earnings and this has resulted in an impairment of goodwill.

“In underwriting, we have paused the process for a potential sale of the business as, while we had established terms for the disposal, the board believes there is potential to generate greater value once market conditions improve.”

Sutherland said that overall he is pleased with the progress Saga has made in 2023 so far and looking ahead to the full year, the group is maintaining tight control of its costs and is confident it will deliver significant double-digit growth in revenue and underlying profit that is ahead of market estimates, and repay the May 2024 bond when it falls due.

He said: “This, alongside our continued focus on debt reduction, leaves us well placed as we position Saga for long-term sustainable growth.”

CFO departs, new executive named

Alongside its financial results, Saga revealed that group chief financial officer James Quin will be stepping down after almost five years with the business in order to focus on a portfolio career. His first portfolio appointment was also announced today as Quin moves to join the board of Thomas Miller.

Meanwhile, Saga has found a new group CEO in Mike Hazell, who was recently interim CFO at The Co-op Group and brings over 25 years of multi-sector experience to the role. Before his tenure at the Co-op Group, Hazell was CFO and joint CEO of the retail chain Debenhams and previous credits include time spent at BskyB and Pfizer.

In a Press release, Saga stated that Hazell will join the business on October 09 and will have a detailed handover period with Quin.

Commenting on the appointment, Sir Roger De Haan, non-executive chairman of Saga, said: “This change is the result of carefully managed succession planning. I would like to thank James for all his hard work over the past five years. He has been a key member of a management team that steered this business through the pandemic and its impacts, and has worked tirelessly to deliver against our strategic objectives, including ensuring Saga is on a much more robust financial footing.”

De Haan welcomed Hazell, citing his deep experience in senior finance roles, and said the board looks forward to working with him and the wider executive team to continue moving Saga forward.

Sutherland added: “I would like to thank James for all of his considerable hard work and commitment to Saga. He has been a brilliant CFO, a strong leader and a fantastic colleague. I am delighted to welcome Mike to the team; his experience and energy will be important in the years ahead as we continue to grow the business.”

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