Holiday company MyTravel has warned that the market has yet to recover from this summer's security alerts, as the threat of terrorism appears to be continuing to deter travellers from taking a break in the UK.
In a trading statement today, the firm, which owns the Going Places travel agents chain, said that its full year outlook remained unchanged, with the company's board expecting to report a profit before tax of between £40 million and £45 million in 2006, compared to a £17.4 million loss in 2005.
However, MyTravel stressed that UK winter trading remained "challenging", with bookings down 9.5 percent on a ten percent reduction in capacity.
The company said that while bookings over the past four weeks had shown "some improvement", being down just two per cent against last year, its ability to achieve a 3.5 per cent operating margin in the UK market would "depend on there being a more typical trading environment for the summer of 2007".
"While overall UK trading has improved in recent weeks, it has still not fully recovered from the events of this summer, and if these conditions persist there could be a delay beyond 2006/07 in achieving our UK target," MyTravel said.
Nonetheless, the travel firm stressed that despite a difficult trading market, it still anticipates reducing UK losses from £27.4 million in 2005 to between £10 million and £15 million this year.
MyTravel added that its performance in northern Europe was "more encouraging", although bookings are still down 5.5 per cent on eight per cent less capacity.
In North America, bookings are up three per cent on a capacity increase of four per cent.
MyTravel is due to announce full results for the year to October 31st 2006 on December 14th.