Evolvi Rail Systems notched up another record year in 2010, driving up revenue by 8% to £262m and helping Travel Management Companies (TMCs) to arrange over 4.25m rail journeys for their corporate customers.
The company’s online rail booking and fulfilment service – the preferred choice of eight of the UK’s top 10 TMCs – powered an unprecedented number of business travel plans, despite the economic climate created by the worst recession in a generation.
The figures confirm Evolvi’s leadership in the TMC rail sector, with the company handling over half of all TMC rail sales and 27% of all rail bookings made online, even when retail transactions are taken into account.
The Evolvi effect on travel budgets is proven through the year-on-year fall in average ticket values (ATV) from £66 to £61, while transaction volumes actually increased during 2010 from 3.6m to 4.25m. Evolvi expects the ATV to fall below £60 in the next six months.
Says Ken Cameron, Evolvi Rail Systems’ Managing Director: “While part of the reduction in ATV can be attributed to much reduced demand for First Class travel, the overriding reason is growing awareness of the cost advantages that smart procurement through the Evolvi online system delivers.”
Total TMC UK rail sales were up 4.3% at £522m in 2010, with Evolvi outperforming the market with an 8% increase in revenues. The self-booking trend among corporate clients of TMCs also continued its upward march, with almost 60% opting for this approach, and there was significant growth in demand for Ticket on Departure (TOD) fulfilment, prompted initially by the Ash Cloud crisis when TMCs were hastily making alternative arrangements for their customers.
“Looking ahead, there will certainly be challenges in 2011, particularly as a result of the government’s austerity measures,” says Ken Cameron. ”There are also concerns about the effect of the change in the rail fare formula, but my view is that this will likely prompt even more corporates to consider consolidating their rail spend within a managed travel policy environment. And this could present new opportunities for the TMC community.”