Travel Agents

Travellers Choice seeks investments after $1.9m profit

Travellers Choice has rounded up a solid pre-tax operating profit of $1.92 million for the 2017 financial year.

The results continue the company’s profit streak, which has seen them pull a profit every year since it started 40 years ago.

As a result, the business is keen to explore a few ways to spend their hard earned cash, including investment options. It comes after a number of investments have been made by other Aussie agencies, such as Flight Centre’s many acquisitions and Helloworld’s investments.

“We are now looking at a variety of investment options that will maximise the long-term return for the Company and its members,” Travellers Choice Managing Director Christian Hunter said.

The company’s total income decreased by five per cent for the financial year, however as was mentioned by Flight Centre’s Skroo Turner in their financial results, this downturn reflects a softening of airfare prices.

“We saw an increase in the number of airline tickets processed year-on-year, but a decline in the average cost of airfares impacted overall revenue generated by our airline agreements,” said Hunter.

“After four consecutive years of record profits, this trend, combined with additional investments during 2016/17 in our expanding range of digital support services, has resulted in a five per cent fall in total pre-tax profit.

“With airfare prices firming, positive forward sales across the Travellers Choice network, and new high-calibre member shareholders set to join the fold, the Company is well positioned for profit growth in the year ahead.”

The Travellers Choice Board declared that the 2016/17 profit – excluding a contribution from the sale of the Company’s shareholding in the Worldwide Independent Travel Network (WIN) – will now be returned directly to the national retail network’s members, who remain the Company’s sole shareholders.

Including the latest profit distribution, during the 2016/17 fiscal period Travellers Choice returned more than $2.6 million in additional commissions, incentives and overrides directly to its members – a five per cent increase on 2015/16.

Travellers Choice was one of four equal partners in WIN until June 2017 when UK independent agency network Advantage Travel Partnership bought out its fellow shareholders.

Hunter said the sale presented “a rare and valuable opportunity to monetise the Company’s shareholding,” while retaining access to WIN products and services.

“At the same time, we will continue to enjoy one of the other important benefits of being part of the WIN network, which is the opportunity to interact and share insights with similar independent organisations around the world.”

Hunter added the Travellers Choice Board has opted to retain the income from the WIN shareholding in order to invest in development projects.

Travellers Choice member shareholders will meet in Perth in November for the group’s Annual General Meeting and 2017 Shareholders’ Conference.



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