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Princess resistant to economic storm

All Leisure Group (ALG) says its five-star Hebridean Princess ship has had another successful summer season.

The luxury 50-passenger vessel, which sails from Oban and mainly cruises around the west coast of Scotland, continued to receive very positive reviews from guests.

Owner ALG, a niche cruise and tour operator targeting the 55 and older market, said the Hebridean Princess has not suffered "a lot of the negative headwinds" that have affected the industry, such as foreign exchange fluctuations and reduced consumer spending.

The Hebridean Island Cruises brand has introduced a series of breaks to European rivers, such as the Rhine and the Danube, which had been well received. The service is likely to be extended in 2013.

The Voyages of Discovery arm, which runs from UK ports to destinations around the world, had a "very challenging" summer. The trading environment was a factor in the Alexander von Humboldt ship laying up for the peak season while it received an upgrade in Genoa.

ALG warned overall capacity on Voyages of Discovery will be around 20% lower in the financial year to October 31, 2013.

Its Swan Hellenic division's Minerva ship began sailing in March following a major refit and will spend the winter in the Middle East.

Tour brands Travelsphere and Just You were said to have performed exceptionally and delivered a better than expected contribution to the bottom line since being acquired in May as part of the takeover of Page & Moy Travel Group (PMTG).

ALG, which has its headquarters in Burgess Hill, West Sussex, said it expects to report a "modest profit before tax in the 12 months to October 31. It hopes to "maximise synergies" with PMTG to offset the challenging market conditions.

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