* Expects cancellation rates over 90% in winter
* Says annual adjusted pretax profit at breakeven levels
* Shares up 2%
Nov 9 (Reuters) - Package holiday provider On The Beach
saw more than 90% of bookings cancelled over the summer
and expects a similar rate this winter as the COVID-19 crisis
continues to hammer tourism.
Nationwide lockdowns in France, Germany and Britain, as well
as restrictions in other European countries, have led airlines
to slash their flights for the autumn.
TUI, the world's largest travel company, has
already reduced capacity for winter.
"It is clear now that the full impact of COVID-19 will be
every bit as extreme as any of us could have mapped out at the
beginning of the year," On The Beach (OTB) Chief Executive Simon
Cooper said in a trading update.
The company said, however, that it had already refunded 160
million pounds ($210 million) to customers and had 44 million
pounds of cash on hand, as well as an unused 75 million pounds
in available credit.
After an initial dip, its shares rose 2.3% in morning trade.
"On the Beach has preserved its cash pile and continues to
invest in its platform, while the rest of the travel industry
tries to squeeze a quart of cash burn out of a pint pot of
remaining cash resources," said analysts from brokers Peel Hunt.
OTB also said it had received 79 million pounds from
airlines for cancelled flights and was awaiting a further 11
million in refunds.
It reported booking volumes down 75% and 53% in the third
and fourth quarters of its fiscal year respectively. OTB's
financial year ended on Sept. 30.
The company said it expected adjusted pretax profit for that
year to be around break even, but that it would book around 45
million pounds in exceptional costs.
($1 = 0.7587 pounds)
(Reporting by Tanishaa Nadkar in Bengaluru; Editing by Mark