Technology

Webjet pulls plug on cruise sales business, actions 440-plus redundancies

Huntley Mitchell

Huntley Mitchell

Online travel company Webjet has resumed trading on the ASX, but not before detailing some harsh measures to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak.

In an update to shareholders on Wednesday, Webjet said its management team had implemented a number of interim business initiatives to lessen the blow of the coronavirus crisis.

Among them are more than 440 redundancies, with the majority of remaining staff moving to four-day working weeks; along with reduced board and executive remuneration, with managing director John Guscic cutting his salary by 60 per cent for the 2020 calendar year, and forgoing a bonus for FY20.

Webjet also noted it was suspending Webjet Exclusives and closing its Cruise Sale Finder business, which falls under the company’s Online Republic division that it acquired in 2016 for just over $80 million.

According to the Cruise Sale Finder website, the business will cease operating from September this year and is no longer accepting new bookings.

Webjet reckons these initiatives, along with a few others such as a non-essential and marketing spend freeze, will deliver cost savings of roughly $13 million per month.

The company added that it has a few more tricks up its sleeve if the situation doesn’t improve over the next six months.

And, after announcing a $275 million equity raising on Wednesday to help strengthen its balance sheet, Webjet revealed today that it now forecasts the raising to reach $346 million thanks to strong demand from new and existing investors, and is back trading on the ASX.

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