Mobile drives Webjet growth

Mobile drives Webjet growth
By admin


The convenience of being able to book where and when you want has been singled out by Webjet managing director John Guscic as the main driver for the company’s 25% lift in profit.

The retailer this morning reported a pre-tax profit of $19.3 million in the 12 months to June 30 with Total Transaction Value climbing 30% to $768m.

Second half profits climbed 29% after a 21% rise in the July to December period.

Shares in Webjet climbed 4.2% today to $3.66.

Guscic downplayed the perceived “value” factor of online travel for its growth, saying that the ability to search and book through mobile devices was becoming increasingly important and driving its performance.

“The convenience factor overrides the value factor,” he told Travel Today. “Mobile now accounts for 20% of all our traffic. People are using their commute time to search before they consult with their partner and book on their desktop when they get home.”

Such a scenario accounts for the relatively low number of mobile bookings, which currently accounts for 3% of total bookings.

Guscic flagged the launch of a “non traditional” ipad app in the next six weeks as it looks to continue its mobile push. He declined to reveal details, only saying it will provide a “completely different Webjet experience”.

Meanwhile, Guscic said the company had finally proved it can sell hotels with its hotel aggregation business now generating annual revenue of $42 million based on June’s trading.

“That is 68% growth in six months,” he said. “We have the right product at the right price. Previously we did not have the correct blend.”

The target now was to generate a profit in the 2013 financial year. “Now that we have achieved a degree of scale and proven the concept that Webjet can sell hotels our next thrust is not so much on growing that fast but to make it profitable. That’s our focus for this financial year.”

He declined to reveal the extent of the hotel losses in 2012.

Email the Travel Weekly team at traveldesk@travelweekly.com.au

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