Coach holiday firm Caledonian Travel is being brought back into business by its former management team who have acquired its brand along with sister company UK Breakaways.

Both Caledonian Travel and UK Breakaways went into administration in May following the collapse of parent company Specialist Leisure Group.

Caledonian Leisure Ltd is headed by former managing director Graham Rogers, commercial director Martin Lock and product director Carl Brackenbury, described as having previously spearheaded the growth of National Holidays to serve over 500,000 holiday customers every year with an annual turnover in excess of £90 million.

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The team said Caledonian Travel has been operating short breaks and holidays by coach from Scotland for over 30 years, and Caledonian Leisure plans to "build on the success and heritage of the Caledonian brand" by initially expanding into the north of England with new departure points across the north east and Yorkshire.

UK Breakaways runs a range of self-drive breaks and holidays. The value of the acquisition was not disclosed. 

Mr Rogers said: “We are thrilled to confirm the launch of Caledonian Leisure Ltd with the acquisition of Caledonian Travel and UK Breakaways.

“With over 130 years’ collective experience between the management team in the coach travel sector we believe we have a firm understanding of what the customer wants; good quality products at sensational value.

"Staycations will be the holiday of choice for many over the coming months, and we are looking forward to developing a range of new and exciting breaks and holidays for our customers to enjoy, details of which will be released shortly.”

Mr Lock said: “Caledonian Travel has been Scotland’s leading coach holiday provider for over 30 years, and we are keen to restore the brand as an innovative provider of short breaks and holidays by coach.

"We look forward to welcoming back loyal customers who have holidayed with us for many years as well new faces as we look to grow the Caledonian Travel brand in the north east and Yorkshire.

“We also believe there is huge scope to develop UK Breakaways into a major holiday brand due to the wide range of fun and innovative short breaks it offers at unbeatable prices but with greater freedom of travel options.”

Retailer Ted Baker has seen shares jump higher as the group hailed "resilient" trading after a better-than-feared sales hit from the coronavirus crisis.

The fashion chain revealed store sales crashed 79% in the 11 weeks to July 18, but online trading jumped by 34% on a constant currency basis, helping lessen the overall impact and sending shares soaring as much as 17% higher.

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Ted Baker said revenues fell 55% overall to £60.9 million in the 11 weeks, which was better than the lockdown impact it had pencilled in last month.

The update comes just days after it was revealed Ted Baker plans to axe at least 500 jobs, or more than a quarter of its UK workforce.

This is on top of the 160 job losses announced by the retailer in February as part of a turnaround plan after a grim 2019 for the firm.

Ted Baker, which has 95% of stores trading globally after a phased reopening since lockdowns, said online sales now make up 69% of total retail sales, up from 25% a year ago.

While online has performed "significantly" better than expected, according to the group, it only partially offset the impact on stores from the lockdown.

Though Ted Baker had been braced for store sales to plummet 83% in its base case scenario.

Rachel Osborne, chief executive of Ted Baker, said: "Our customers are engaging with the brand and responding to our Covid-19 promotional activity, as evidenced by our resilient trading over the past 11 weeks.

"Our performance is encouraging, but I caution that it is still early days, and we have a substantial amount of work to do over the next 12 months against a backdrop of significant uncertainty in the world."

The group confirmed that its cost savings, including the job cuts across, will save around £27 million a year, with around £12 million due in the current financial year.

Publisher Bloomsbury said trading for the past four months has beaten expectations as book sales strengthened during the coronavirus lockdown.

Shares in the London-based firm jumped after it said sales soared 18% higher in the four months to June 30 to £49.5 million.

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The Harry Potter publisher said UK revenues rose by 16% while US revenues grew by 38% against the same period last year.

However, it stressed that its outlook for the rest of the year remains "uncertain", despite the unexpectedly positive performance in May and June.

It said its revenue and earnings are typically weighted towards the second half of the year due to Christmas.

Shares were 12% higher at 224p.

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