Club Travel and USIT results move in different directions
TWO OF Ireland’s best known travel companies have reported very different performances for 2011.
Pre-tax profits at the largest travel agency in the State, Club Travel, last year increased 13.7 per cent to €3.9 million. Boosted by the purchase of the Budget Travel brand, revenues at Club Travel Ltd increased by 9.4 per cent to €84.4 million from €77.1 million in the 12 months to the end of October 31st last.
In the same period, pre-tax profits at specialist student and independent travel group USIT tumbled 28 per cent to €451,790.
According to accounts just filed, USIT Ireland Ltd suffered a 12 per cent drop in revenues to €7 million from €7.95 million.
The principal activity of the group is the distribution of travel and work abroad programmes in Ireland to the student and youth sector.
The accounts show that the directors paid a dividend of €1.3 million last year and this follows a dividend of €3 million to its parent company, the Kinlay Group, in 2010.
“Despite a challenging economic environment the group performed extremely well as it continued to drive business through niche and new products,” directors said in their report.
Club Travel managing director and owner Liam Lonergan said the Budget Travel brand, purchased in 2010, had been a “major contributor” to the increase in revenues last year.
“It is a challenging environment out there, and the industry continues to be very demanding, but we are relatively pleased having done reasonably well last year,” Mr Lonergan said.
He said investment in technology had allowed the Club Travel business to remain relevant. “The bricks and mortar model of the travel agent is substantially gone. There is nothing predictable in this business. I am quite positive about the short term. The medium term? I haven’t a clue.”
Accounts filed with the Companies Office show that Club Travel paid a €859,472 dividend to shareholders last year, down on the €928,015 dividend payout in 2010.
Club Travel staff numbers rose by 14 to 124 last year, while USIT saw employee numbers slip to 84 from 91 a year earlier.