Slower Growth At Wotif.com

By Martin Kelly

The spectacular year-on-year sales growth at Wotif.com will be cut in half from October to a more than respectable 24% through 2007, the company has predicted.

This compares with an August sales increase of 50% when compared with last year.

October is the 12 month anniversary of Wotif.com expanding its sales window from 14 to 28 days.

Chief Operating Officer Robbie Cooke estimates that single move last year increased company sales by around 15%.

“That’s my gut feel,” he said.

Meanwhile, Wotif.com sold 2,740,000 room nights during the 05/06 financial year – an increase of 40% of the previous 12 months.

Australian room nights were up 37%, New Zealand room nights 42%, Asian room nights 96%, UK and Europe 44%, North America 78%.

The average value of rooms sold on the site has grown 3.5% from A$128.15 to A$132.57.

Wotif.com made a A$16.5 million net profit on revenues of $45.5 million in the 12 months to June 30.

CEO Graeme Wood said Woitif.com will remain focused on its core Australian and New Zealand markets, participating “in the expected organic growth as customers migrate from traditional sales channels to the online environment.”

Targetted international growth is also on the agenda, Wood said.

“In particular, markets that display characteristics such as high internet penetration, consumer trust in transacting online, relatively high accommodation supplier fragmentation and the absence of a dominant online player.”

Wood said while present growth is in line with the trends outlined above, “it is uncertain whether (that) will continue once the October period is reached given the strong growth experienced post-October 2005 following the booking window extension.”

Ends.

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