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Saga share price jumps as group reports ‘significant progress’

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Shares in Saga (LON:SAGA), the cruises-to-insurance group for the over-50s, have jumped more than two percent this morning, as the company reported ‘significant progress’ in the half-year ended July 31, despite posting a drop in profits. The update comes after the lifestyle group recently appointed a new finance chief to succeed Jonathan Hill, who was poached by Paddy Power Betfair (LON:PPB) earlier this year.

As of 10:21 BST, Saga’s share price had added 2.38 percent to 129.00p, outperforming the FTSE 250 index which currently stands 0.18 percent lower at 20,398.96 points. The group’s shares have lost more than 34 percent of their value over the past year, as compared with about a four-percent rise in the Footsie.

Saga posts interim results

Saga announced in a statement this morning that its underlying profit before tax had fallen 3.7 percent to £106.8 million in the six months ended July 31. The group’s customer numbers meanwhile were back to H1 2017 levels driven by a 19-percent increase in its Motor and Home new business.

“At the end of last year, we announced our intention to invest in new customer acquisition.  I am pleased to report significant progress in the first half of the year,” Saga’s chief executive Lance Batchelor commented in the statement, adding that the business continued “to be highly cash generative”. Saga said that it would pay an interim dividend of 3.0p, in line with the prior-year period.

Analysts on lifestyle group

The six analysts offering 12-month price targets for Saga for the Financial Times have a median target of 150.00p on the shares, with a high estimate of 195.00p and a low estimate of 125.00p. As of September 21, the consensus forecast amongst six polled investment analysts covering the lifestyle group has it that the company will outperform the market. 

As of 10:40 BST, Thursday, 27 September, Saga PLC share price is 129.00p.

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