Speaking to The Australian paper, Qantas ceo Alan Joyce said its 28% stake in Helloworld would be maintained in the short term, unlike other shareholders which has been dumping shares of late.
“Not in the short term, but in the longer term we probably don’t need an investment in that, but (for) the short to medium term it’s a focus on stabilising — not stabilising because the (Helloworld) business is a good business — but improving the performance of the business,” Joyce said in an interview with The Australian.
Joyce told the paper looking at the immediate future, it would be important for the agency group to complete its business transformation, which commenced late 2013.
In April, UBS Australia Holdings and Europe Voyager each sold 15.5 million shares to an entity associated with AOT Group, bringing its shares from 3% to 10%. Consolidated Travel maintains its 20% ownership of the business.
The paper reports Joyce saying the agency network needed to change, to make the business more robust.
“Like anything, like the transformation we (Qantas) have gone through, it’s making sure it completes its transformation with its branding, making sure it’s implementing its strategy, making sure it has the right people, the right cost base and the right product and services,” Joyce said, per the report.
“The exact same thing that you do in a big business like this (Qantas).”
Joyce told the paper it was important to have a “healthy Helloworld” moving forward.
“Our focus on Helloworld is to have Helloworld as a successful business going forward,” he said.
“We obviously are the largest shareholder, we think strategically it’s very important to have a healthy Helloworld and our focus is on that, so we are not looking at selling down our shares in the near term. We are more focused in making sure it’s a robust business going forward.”
Helloworld’s corporate business, QBT, was recently awarded the Whole of the Australian Government 3-year contract worth some $500 million.