The 50 largest UK travel management companies saw sales jump around 5 per cent in 2014 compared to the previous year, research from BBT has found.

The top 50 companies based on UK annual sales had combined business travel sales of £8.6 billion, up from £8.2 billion in 2013. This equates to an average of £171.6 million, up from £163.3 million the previous year.

The figures are from the annual Top 50 TMCs list, published in the latest issue of Buying Business Travel.

Mark Frary, who compiled the list, noted that TMCs are “positive” about the opportunities for growth in 2015, with over half expecting an increase in sales of more than 10 per cent. However, cost saving still remains a top priority for buyers.

“Business travel volumes have recovered to some extent but some things have changed, perhaps forever,” said Frary. “Attitudes to travel have altered and companies have embraced cost-saving alternatives to travel, particularly in relation to internal meetings.

“Business class and high-end hotels are no longer the rule but the exception.”

The survey found the average TMC handled 252,968 transactions at an average value of £430.50, and employed 170 full-time equivalent staff.

Carlson Wagonlit Travel claimed the top spot in the list followed by HRG, American Express Business Travel, BCD Travel and FCM Travel Solutions to make up the top five.

Click here to view the full list in our May/June digital edition.

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