Webjet upbeat despite profit dip

Webjet upbeat despite profit dip
By admin

Webjet has upgraded its guidance for the 2012/13 financial year, despite reporting a dip in profits in the first half.

The six months to December 31 saw the online retailer's net profit after tax (NPAT) fall 4.1% on the previous corresponding period to $5.6 million.

But the firm rationalised that NPAT became $7.3 million for the six months to December 31 once it had been "normalised", taking into account the impact of one-off costs such as the $1.6 million associated with the start-up of its Dubai-based business Lots of Hotels along with its acquisition of Zuji. The normalised figure represents growth of 24% on the previous corresponding period.

Total transaction value (TTV) rose 3.4% to $380.2 million for the half, while revenue climbed 13% to $31.8 million.

"We are pleased with the continued strong profit growth achieved in a generally flat leisure travel market, which has seen unit price deflation of approximately 4-5%," managing director John Guscic said.

"Webjet's 7% increase in booking numbers countered this trend to see it post positive first half TTV growth and significant growth in market share."

He claimed "considerable growth" for the online firm in the first half and expressed optimism it would continue into the future.

Webjets' hotels business, which posted a loss in the first half of FY 2011/12, broke even over the period, with the firm continuing to target improved margins in this area of its operations.

The half also saw the launch of its dynamic packaging business which Guscic revealed is "currently on $12m TTV run rate and is profitable".

Based on these results, the firm has revised earlier EBITDA and net profit growth guidance from "at least 10%" to 15% for the full year on a normalised basis.

Meanwhile, Lots of Hotels will launch in three markets next week, with Webjet expecting the business to be operational in 12 markets within its first six months.

Its acquisition of Zuji also remains on track for completion by the end of the first quarter of this year.



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