Flight Centre has just announced its results for the year to 30 June, with a $366.3 million statory profit before tax based on record sales of $17.6 billion and "new TTV milestones" established in all ten of the company's countries and regions.
Sales staff numbers increased 6.3% to 14,433 while the total number of shops and businesses in the groups rose 5.5% to 2,825. However the company confirmed a market slowdown in Australia which in turn led to lower than normal TTV growth.
MD Graham Turner said the Australian business generated more than $250 million in EBIT for the third consecutive year, and was again the company's main profit and sales generator.
Turner said the company was continuing to evolve, with strong growth in niche sectors such as the Student Flights, Cruiseabout and Travel Money operations. Flight Centre's Australian accommodation business alone sold about 4.5 million room nights globally, while the tour operating businesses (Back-Roads, Top Deck and Buffalo Tours) should generate about $200m in TTV this year.
He said the company also plans to "close gaps in its online product range," by adding AirAsia and Tiger fares to the flightcentre.com.au website along with additional Jetstar inventory and ancillary products, and introducing an "accommodation aggregation tool" giving customers access to some 400,000 properties globally.
"The web will be incorporated into the person-to-person sales journey and online brands will be developed or acquired, if viable, to target sectors that have shifted online," Turner added.
He said Flight Centre sees global growth prospects during 2015/16, and will target an underlying pre-tax profit of between $380m and $395m for the 2015/16 financial year.
"In Australia, consumer confidence remains relatively subdued but we are seeing positive momentum in leisure travel, with customer enquiry currently tracking above target and sales in key sectors continuing to grow," he said.