Kuoni posts sixfold profit hike

Strong growth in Asia and Scandinavia has helped Kuoni turn in a sixfold rise in first half profits.
Net income increased to SFr21.3m from SFr3.5m a year earlier, the Zurich-based travel company announced, while sales rose 10 per cent to SFr2.23bn. Kuoni said it views a “positive prognosis’’ for the year after earnings before interest and taxes rose in July, a month that accounts for more than a third of annual profit. The tour company has cut prices and made more than 10 acquisitions in the past two years to combat online competition as more consumers make their own bookings online.
However high oil prices as well as economic and financial industry weakness could affect the outlook, Kuoni warned.
Acquisitions, including tour operators Golf Plaisir in Scandinavia and Desert Adventures Tourism in Dubai, boosted revenue by 6 percent this year.
Stronger sales in Norway and Sweden helped the Scandinavian unit boost ebit to SFr3.1m from SFr2.9m a year earlier. Competition in the Russian travel market meant the results in that country were “unsatisfactory” Kuoni said.
Weakening consumer confidence in the U.K. continued to hurt travel sales, the company said. A decline in the value of the pound and fall in demand for holidays to Kenya also hurt profit, it said. Ebit from Kuoni’s U.K. division declined 24 percent.