Saga cruises to higher profit but insurance isn’t plain sailing

An “outstanding year” for Saga’s cruises and travel businesses has prompted the company to upgrade its forecast for annual profits.

Mike Hazell, chief executive of the over-50s travel agent and insurer, said that overall underlying pre-tax profits would be more than double the £21.5 million it reported for the 12 months to the end of January 2023.

Those profits are expected to rise sharply despite continuing pressure on Saga’s insurance division, which is struggling with tough conditions in the wider industry, particularly motor cover. Sales of car and home policies are forecast to be 9 per cent lower than last year, while the margin per policy has shrunk to about £54, from £69.

The update lays bare the task facing Hazell, 50, who took

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