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Webjet soars, Zuji helps and industry ‘should go mobile’

August 21, 2014 Headline News, OTA News No Comments Email Email

egtmedia59Online travel group Webjet has nearly trebled its net profit to AUD 19.1 million in the year to June, reporting a 195% rise in full-year earnings.

The core Webjet business posted “essentially flat results”, reflecting the general domestic travel market, the company’s managing director, John Guscic, said.

An improvement in the company’s Zuji business greatly helped the result, as did sound results from its Lots of Hotels business.

Webjet reported earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of AUD 23.3 million, which was above its guidance of AUD 21.5 million.

Guscic said the company’s continuing pursuit of higher margin business streams was helping grow non-air revenues. Webjet charges booking fees, which is unusual in the global online travel agency industry.

Webjet will consider making small acquisitions in Asia and North America to bolster its growing business-to-business division, according to a statement by Guscic carried in the Sydney Morning Herald.

“The overall domestic leisure market has been subdued for the last 18 months,” he said. “We think that will continue for at least the next six months.”

Webjet chief operating officer Shelley Beasley, speaking at the CAPA Australia Pacific Aviation Summit earlier this month, noted that the travel industry had been slow to adapt to the trend of mobile technology. Beasley explained that while a vast majority of travel and flights are booked online, many travel agencies do not have a mobile version of the site.

Written by Peter Needham

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