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All Leisure board waives its dividend as sales slow

By BFN News | 09:21 AM | Wednesday 11 April, 2012

Cruise holiday group  All Leisure's board members have waived their proposed dividend payments as sales have slowed following the sinking of Costa Concordia.

But the board has voted to pay a final dividend of 1.31p per share to all other shareholders.

Executive chairman Roger Allard told the annual general meeting that the group had re-introduced both mv Minerva and mv Hebridean Princess into service following their winter dry dock periods.  

But he said that following the tragic sinking of Costa Concordia and other related issues in the cruise market, sales have slowed down considerably and have only been revived by significant discounting. 

He added: "This is happening across the cruise industry and is compounded by the unprecedented headwinds of natural disasters, geo-political events, worsening economic conditions, low interest rates, increasing oil price and crisis in the Eurozone.  

"Added to this, we have only seen a slow increase in bookings on our Discover Egypt brand since the Arab Spring of last year."

But he continued: "On a more positive note, we have performed reasonably well, and in line with budget for the current winter where higher than usual winter losses were planned as a result of two of our vessels being dry docked for winter.  

"All Leisure Holidays Limited has been honoured with a Royal Warrant from Her Majesty the Queen for the provision of cruise holidays on Hebridean Princess and all the directors, staff, officers and crew are very proud of this prestigious accolade."

Allard  said the group had hedged the majority of its currency requirements for this financial year at rates that were currently better than spot and also covered approximately 30% of its fuel requirements for this financial year through fuel hedges.

He continued: "As trading is considerably more challenging this year than envisaged, the board has unanimously agreed to waive the proposed dividend in relation to shareholdings held by the board (74.01% of the issued share capital), but have voted to pay a final dividend of 1.31p per share payable on 2 May 2012 to all other shareholders, in recognition of the strong underlying asset-backed balance sheet and brands, resulting in a full year dividend of 1.95p per share.  

"Bearing in mind the increasing overheads and the board's duty to maximise returns for the group's shareholders, it is in the process of carrying out a full review of its cost base."

At 9:21am: (LON:ALLG)  share price was -3.5p at 31p

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