Helloworld has released its annual results, posting a 3.5 per cent growth underpinned by strong air ticket sales volume growth.
This year’s profit rose $10.4 million compared with the previous years, while the company’s earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) increased $10 million to $65.2 million.
Helloworld also cites the success both of its rebrand to Helloworld Travel which has improved brand awareness, as well as the series of acquisitions which took place over the past 12 months.
According to the release, operating costs of the business were significantly lower than the prior year, which reflects the group’s continued focus on cost reduction initiatives and reduced costs from disposed operations.
The Helloworld Travel retail network grew to 2,223 members across Australia and New Zealand, a growth of 208 members since 30 June 2017.
As per Helloworld, the increase in members is led by growth in Helloworld branded members, growth in MTA’s home-based agent network in Australia, the expansion of the My Travel Group and the acquisition of the Magellan Travel Group in Australia.
Helloworld Travel has made a significant investment in more focused consumer marketing, advertising and sponsorship to strategically accelerate Helloworld Travel’s brand presence.
The strategy has proved successful with prompted and unprompted consumer brand awareness for the Helloworld Travel brand growing significantly.
Helloworld Travel continues to invest in its internally developed technology to provide enhanced travel solutions and experiences for its member network, partners and customers.
In FY18, these developments included the successful upgrade of wholesale agent platform ReadyRooms, development of corporate customer portal ReadyRooms for Business, the ongoing rapid enhancement of the retail consultant interface ResWorld agency portal, development of Air Tickets Shop & Book technology and the acquisition of web-based flight booking technologies provider Flight Systems.
The wholesale and inbound businesses are continuing to deliver on key customer and supplier initiatives.
In FY18, an expanded wholesale product range for our retailers to sell was introduced including new products covering the Maldives, Disney Magic, Weddings & Honeymoons and Unique Rail Journeys.
Helloworld Travel benefited from the growth in the cruise market by the successful integration of Seven Ocean Cruising and The Cruise Team businesses acquired in the prior year.
The inbound business is experiencing strong demand from traditional markets including the UK, Europe and the United States and increasing demand from newer markets in Asia.
Inbound China Free Independent Traveller (FIT) platforms performed strongly in FY18 and are expected to further grow in FY19.
The corporate businesses performed strongly, delivering on key customer outcomes. AOT Hotels successfully re-tendered for the Whole of Australia Government contract for accommodation program management, securing the contract for a period of three years with further extension options.