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Full steam ahead for FCTG

Flight Centre Travel Group's (FCTG) recovery has gained plenty of traction, with the company's profit for the six months to 31 December 2022 outperforming predictions.

The company reported an underlying EBITDA of $195 million for the first half, exceeding the $70-90 million forecast by 19% and representing an almost $280 million turnaround from the $184 million loss of the previous corresponding period.

FCTG earned a profit in both corporate and leisure, with the luxury segment in particular showing strong results, making up more than 7% of the company’s revenue.

In fact, FCTG’s luxury revenue shot up to $71 million for the first half of the 2023 financial year, of which 68% was derived in Australia and New Zealand via the Travel Associates network, 23% from the Scott Dunn operations in the UK, and a further 8% in the USA.

The group also saw a profit across all geographical markets apart from Asia, where it broke even. Now that China has reopened, however, volumes have overtaking pre-pandemic levels.

The first half saw sales recover nicely, with Total Transaction Value (TTV) up 203% to $9.9 billion, and is tracking at 80% of its record result in 1H 2020.

FCTG’s corporate businesses achieved a record TTV of $5 billion, while leisure TTV is back up to 44% of the company’s total.

“The sales momentum that helped drive our recovery last year continued throughout the 1H, with TTV and revenue both tripling,” Global Chief Executive Officer Graham Turner said.

“Positive margin trends have also emerged, with underlying cost margin dipping below 10% to a record low, and revenue margin gradually ticking upwards, in line with our expectations.

“While we continue to monitor market conditions, we are not currently seeing evidence that the recovery is slowing with the leisure business currently trading at post-COVID highs and corporate travel activity escalating after the traditional holiday period,” he concluded.

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