Large investments in new technology have helped the Lowcosttravel Group post a rise 48 percent rise in annual pre-tax profits, along with an upbeat outlook for the year ahead.
The value of total transactions in the financial year ending October 2008 rose by 44% to £50 million with gross profit margins maintained at 13%.CEO Paul Evans of the group - which includes lowcostbeds.com, lowcsotholidays.com and Resorthoppa - said: “Despite increased competition, the economic downturn and the depreciation of sterling, our business is trading very strongly and we are experiencing record sales.”
“Our investment in our super-fast and advanced technology platform last summer has made a huge difference to our customer conversion and retention,” he added.
The online travel company has embarked on an acquisition spree since the end of its financial year, buying transfers company Resorthoppa last December for an undisclosed sum, whilst also going on record to say it is on the lookout for further buys.
Evans said the growth of the newly-expanded group remains strong, with sales at Resorthoppa up 25 percent year-on-year since the merger.
He said: “Currently we are seeing 186% growth in like-for-like sales and 220% at group level, including Resorthoppa.”
Services of both companies were merged, including the bundling of bed and transfer products, as well as management structures.
“Our trade business and partnerships continue to go from strength to strength and our direct consumer business is recording significant growth levels, despite the economic doom and gloom reported every day.”
In February talks over the purchase of online cruise travel agent Ideal Cruising broke down over valuation differences. However Lowcosttravel Group said it would continue eying up other businesses across the travel sector, in particular ski, longhaul, city-break operators and cruise.