Wotif.com Holdings Limited announces full year results

Wotif.com Holdings Limited announces full year results

Wotif.com Holdings Limited today announced a record $53.0 million full year after tax profit – representing a $9.5 million increase over last year’s record result. The 22% uplift in profits was driven off the back of sales of 7.12 million room nights across the Wotif Group (up 12.4% on last year) and a 23% increase in revenues from the sale of flights ($6.4 million).

FY2010 Highlights
*  Net Profit After Tax up 22% to $53.0 million
*  $1.09 billion of travel transactions processed by the Wotif Group (up 10%)
*  7.12 million room nights sold, up from 6.33 million last year (up 12.4%)
*  Wotif.com brand recognition in Australia over 58% (up from 50%) and New Zealand awareness maintained above 30%
*  17,500+ hotels and accommodation venues (up 10%) working directly with the Group in 57 countries
*  Successful launch of Wotflight with 8 domestic carriers – Trans-Tasman carriers now added and a full international offering coming soon
*  iPhone mobile solution released for Wotif.com
*  AsiaWebDirect.com redesign launched with a new pricing display
*  Acquisition of GoDo.com.au providing a “things to do” booking engine
*  12.5 cent final dividend (fully franked), taking full year distribution to 21.5 cents (up from 17.5 cents last year)

Commentary

Lining up against a record FY2009 result, the Wotif Group has lifted its after tax profit by approximately $9.5 million, producing another record outcome.  The Group this morning reported a 22% increase in profits, delivering a $53.0 million result for FY2010.

Wotif Group’s Managing Director and CEO,  Robbie Cooke, commenting on the result, said: “One of the most impressive features of this result is that it comes off the back of a 26% profit increase last year – a year in which we were riding on the tail winds of an exceptional combination of events that really played in Wotif’s favour. It was never going to be an easy task to beat last year’s numbers, so it is a real credit to the team here to have delivered another record outcome – increasing profits by $9.5 million, up 22% on last year’s strong gains.” The lift in profits was driven from the Wotif Group processing travel transactions valued at $1.1 billion.

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The Group sold more than 7.12 million room nights on behalf of its hotel and accommodation partners situated in 57 counties. Wotif’s world-wide hotel inventory is sourced from some 17,500 properties, each property working individually with the Group to distribute their inventory direct to Wotif’s customers.

The Group’s accommodation sales were boosted by $6.4 million in revenues generated from its flights businesses - including the newly-launched Wotflight.com. In relation to the Group’s flights operations, Cooke commented: “While it is still early days, it’s great to see our flights initiatives gaining traction in the year. Wotflight.com (our new flights booking site) and our other flights channels contributed close to 5% of our revenues this year. We see the sale of flights as an incremental value-add and a logical expansion of our offering to Wotif’s large customer base. Our offer of a free $20 Wotif.com accommodation voucher for every flight booking on Wotflight makes for a pretty attractive deal.”

The year saw strong migration to the Wotif Group’s websites as customers took advantage of the value, convenience and simplicity offered from booking travel online. Based upon Australian Bureau of Statistics data which quantifies the total Australian accommodation segment (both online and offline), the Group transacted more than 10% of all Australian accommodation sales in calendar 2009. This was up from approximately 8% in the prior year. Cooke commented:  “Growing our share of the Australian accommodation segment from approximately 8% to 10% over the last year bears testament to the compelling Wotif model. We provide a win-win outcome for consumers and hoteliers alike. Our customers get access to the broadest range of best value accommodation sourced directly from our hotel and accommodation partners. Our accommodation partners get access to our very significant customer base and to the lowest cost distribution model available.” In recognition of the Group’s strong performance, the Company determined a final fully franked dividend of 12.5 cents, taking the full year payout to 21.5 cents (up from 17.5 cents last year).