Flight Centre has seen its profits rise by 20.3 per cent in the last year helped by record profits for its UK businesses.
The Australian-based firm, which owns corporate travel specialists FCM Travel Solutions and Corporate Traveller, made a pre-tax profit of Aus $349.2 million (£200 million) for the financial year ending in June 2013.
The company was boosted by a 32 per cent rise in operating profits for its UK division to Aus $32 million (£18.5 million). The UK is Flight Centre’s most successful business outside its home market of Australia. Overall travel sales in the UK were up by 3 per cent to Aus $1.2 billion (£700 million).
Flight Centre said its success in the UK had been down to gaining market share across both the leisure and corporate sectors since the 2009 recession despite the overall travel market shrinking over the last four years.
The company added that profits were up for both its UK leisure and corporate divisions although leisure had performed more strongly. It said that UK business travel had been “more efficient” with profits growing faster than overall sales.
Flight Centre added that it planned “renewed focus on account and BDM (business development manager) growth in corporate travel” in the UK over the next financial year.
Graham Turner, Flight Centre’s managing director, said that the strong UK performance had been achieved “despite economic uncertainty domestically and in Europe”.
“Sales and profit increased in both the leisure and corporate businesses during 2012/13, with the leisure business, in particular, performing strongly,” he added.
Corporate travel represents 31 per cent or Aus $4.3 billion (£2.5 billion) of Flight Centre’s overall global sales. Although this does not include business travel booked through Flight Centre’s high street leisure shops.