On The Beach sees more pain as Europe imposes fresh virus curbs

(Reuters) - Holiday package provider On The Beach OTB.L said on Monday more than 90% of bookings were cancelled on average over the summer, and pointed to more pain ahead as rising coronavirus cases prompt a fresh round of restrictions across Europe.

Nationwide lockdowns in France, Germany and Britain, as well as other curbs in other European countries, have led to airlines slashing their flights for autumn. TUI TUIGn.DE, the world's largest travel company, has already reduced capacity for the winter season.

On The Beach said it recorded exceptional costs of 10 million pounds ($13.18 million) in the second-half, and expects it to total 45 million pounds for the year.

The company said that annual adjusted pretax profit was at breakeven levels, ahead of what Peel Hunt and Stifel analysts had expected.

The UK-based online travel agent said leisure had picked up with airspaces opening up in July. “This freedom was short-lived and the subsequent impact on consumer confidence has led to significant reductions in seat capacity over the winter,” it said.

OTB said the impact had been exacerbated by England’s four-week ban on international leisure travel, which began last week.

The company said booking volumes were down 75% and 53% in the third and fourth quarter, respectively.

Reporting by Tanishaa Nadkar in Bengaluru; Editing by Ramakrishnan M.