- Over-50s services group Saga said it expected to report a full-year underlying profit, as its insurance business offset pressure on its cruise division caused by the pandemic.

In a trading update covering the period from 1 August to 25 January, Saga said motor and home insurance policy sales were up 1% year-on-year.

Customer retention in the insurance business was 80%, up 5 percentage points, with underlying margins in line with expectations.

Reduced claims frequency was expected to have positive impact of at least 5 percentage points on the current year loss ratio.

In the cruise division, the cash burn rate for second half was towards lower end of previous guidance of £6 million-to-£8 million per month.

'We have made good progress in delivering our new strategy and have accelerated the pace of change at Saga, against the backdrop of the challenges that the Covid-19 pandemic has brought to our business,' chief executive Euan Sutherland said.

'Insurance remains resilient, while within travel we are focusing on ensuring the safest possible environment for our guests when cruise and holidays resume, whilst appropriately controlling costs until that time.'

"We are confident in our strategy, the strength of our brand and the loyalty and economic resilience of our customers.'

'We know they are ready to travel in great numbers and live their lives to the full as the vaccine programme is rolled out.'

'We are excited about the opportunities ahead as we focus on delivering more exceptional experiences for our customers.'

Saga said its liquidity remained 'strong', with available cash of £51 million at 31 December 2020.

At 8:03am: [LON:SAGA] Saga share price was 0p at 185.2p

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