Saga membership grows by third

Saga membership grows by third

Over-50s provider Saga has seen membership numbers increase by a third in the last quarter.

In an update to investors this morning (January 16) the specialist provider stated its membership scheme Possibilities had added a further 250,000 members since September and now has more than one million members.

Saga intends to become a member-led organisation and has recently launched an advertising campaign across TV, press, digital media and direct marketing to attract new customers.

During the period August 1, 2018 and January 15, 2019, Saga said it has continued to trade in line with expectations, with its travel division being fully booked for 2018/19 and 54 per cent booked for 2019/20.

The company saw increased new business volumes in its insurance division despite facing stiffer competition in the motor and home insurance markets, it said in a recent trading update.

It said it had seen falling average premiums and upward pressure on net rates in home insurance, which had affected broker revenue and profitability.

In home insurance, it said its policy count was broadly stable year on year, with increased new business volumes.

Saga said the results for the group’s underwriter continued to exceed expectations, supported by what is said was “a particularly positive experience for small and large personal injury claims.”

In its travel division, Saga said it expects total revenue for 2019/20 departures to be flat given the continued change in mix towards higher margin products, with fewer passengers.

Lance Batchelor, group chief executive of Saga, said: "We are making progress with our strategy to invest in attracting new customers across the business. In a challenging insurance market, the increase in new business has kept our policy count broadly stable. Our underwriting business has performed well during the year."

Saga will release its preliminary results for the year to 31 January in April.

Despite meeting expectations, Saga’s share price has continued to follow a downward trend after it issued a profit warning in 2017.

At that time, the company’s shares tumbled by 25 per cent when it warned that the demise of Monarch Airlines and the costs associated with repatriating holidaymakers would dent its profitability.