Saudi travel giant expects Covid-19 to hit 2020 performance

Seera Group CEO says company is taking ‘prudent precautions to manage’ coronavirus crisis as cases spread across the Gulf

Abdullah Aldawood, CEO of Seera Group.

Seera Group, the Saudi-based travel and tourism company, said on Thursday it expects its 2020 financial performance to be impacted by the spread of the new coronavirus.

Abdullah Aldawood, CEO of Seera Group, said the company, which recorded a record gross booking value of SR10.8 billion last year, will “be taking prudent precautions to manage through this situation”.

“Looking ahead it is clear that Covid-19 will have an impact on the travel industry, the extent of which none of us can predict at this time.

“We will continue to monitor the macro situation closely and manage the company in a responsible manner, taking sensible steps to adapt where required,” he added.

Saudi Arabia has so far reported only two cases of the new coronavirus.

His comments came as Seera Group announced that revenue declined by 4.8 percent in 2019 compared to 2018 driven by change in revenue sources and more competitive pricing for some services in order to protect and increase market share.
Group net profit after was SR189 million compared to a loss of SR142 million a year earlier.
2019 witnessed the consolidation of operations under a new corporate identity and an ambitious expansion of existing businesses as well as the launch of new services, including the launch of a dedicated destination management company, Seera said in a statement.
Aldawood said: “2019 saw our three-year transformation journey continue with a busy year full of challenges, ambitious targets and new launches

“The year closed with a healthy balance sheet and a more diversified revenue stream in travel, hospitality and car rental services.”

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