Don't you wish you'd bought Flight Centre shares in, say, early 2009 when they were trading well below eight bucks?
Today they're north of $31 as the travel agency giant – poised to open its 2500th shop/business – announced a record first half result: $91.8m net profit after tax, up 13% with record pre-tax earnings from its operations in Australia, UK, Greater China and Singapore. Key points include:
Flightcentre.com.au turnover up 23% and on track to deliver $5m earning before tax for 12/13 financial year.
- Share price at record highs
- Corporate brands turned over more than $1bn in first half for the first
- Cheap international airfares stimulating leisure demand
- Combined turnover of leisure brands has increased 70% since end of 2009
- Cruiseabout's turnover has more than tripled during this period
- Gaining UK market share in contracting market (UK main profit driver outside Australia)
- US business remains an issue, losses higher than last year
- Profits down in South Africa, Dubai and Canada
- Before tax earnings more than doubled in New Zealand
- Singapore leisure business now profitable
- New mobile sites were launched for Flight Centre and quickbeds
Looking ahead, Flight Centre said maintaining "10% profit before tax will become more challenging" but the company is well placed to deliver good growth over the previous financial year.
NB: the share price took a minor hit, down a dollar or so to just over $31, after this result was announced today.