Saga shares slide by 23% amid gloomy profit forecast

Insurance and travel business, Saga, has announced that this year's underlying profits are forecast to be lower than previously guided and has written down the value of its core insurance division by £269m, sending the group’s shares down more than 23%.

Related topics:  insurance,  Saga
Warren Lewis
28th September 2022
"We are confident that Saga is in a stronger position now than before the Pandemic and we are committed to building Saga into the superbrand for older people in the UK."
- Euan Sutherland, Saga chief executive

The business, which focuses on customers over 50, reported a statutory loss of £257.5m for the six months to July and warned that it was being also being hit by the rising cost of insurance claims.

Despite the current challenging conditions in insurance, Saga announced plans for a new customised holiday service, aimed at its more affluent customer base while also stating that bookings in its cruises business had not seen any impact from the cost of living crisis.

Aside from non-cash writedowns, the business returned to profits in the half year to July and saw an underlying profit of £14m. However, it warned that making the £35-50 million of underlying profits for the full year to January 2023 was now unachievable and advised shareholders to expect between £20-30 million.

Saga now expects gross margins on each policy sold in future to be £15 per policy smaller due to heightened competition in motor and regulatory changes. That led to the decision to write down the value of the division.

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