Lastminute.com Group says it is in a “solid cash position” despite ending 2020 with revenues down some 62% on the previous year.
The online travel agency business brought in €128.9 million in core revenues over the 12-month, pandemic-hit period.
Almost €138 million is available in cash reserves, the company’s full-year 2020 earnings report states – up from €133 million in 2019.
Lastminute.com Group recognizes the main issue for the business following the outbreak of the pandemic and curtailment of leisure travel in its markets was managing refunds to customers that had already paid for trips.
It says customers were “bearing the risk of not being paid back timely” due to airlines delaying reimbursements.
Destination Italia, a joint venture between Lastminute.com Group and Banca Intesa which was aimed at boosting tourism to Italy, is being carved out of the core business and will be operated as a separate entity by members of the management team.
The unit had lost €3 million each year since its launch in 2016. Lastminute.com Group will hold one quarter of the shares in the new business.
The earnings report says the company had a 97% drop in EBITDA from €71 million to €2 million between 2019 and 2020.
Regarding the company’s outlook for the new financial reporting year, the statement news: “January 2021 started in continuity with the last quarter 2020 performance, still at a low pace.
“The Group expects to see the first signs of rebound by the second quarter as a result of the progressive rollout of the vaccination campaign.
“Thanks to the positive impact deriving from the climate conditions of the spring and summer seasons and the herd immunity to be potentially achieved between the third and the fourth quarter 2021, the scenario will then stabilize.”