Search Works, TVL Price Takes Off

By Martin Kelly, Editor, Search Engine Room

Concerted search engine optimization and marketing by travel.com.au (TVL) has boosted unique visits by more than 30%, while sister site lastminute.com.au also enjoyed increased traffic.

TVL is working on new sites for both properties, the first of which is expected to launch over the next three months. The company’s marketing spend will further increase as a result.

Meanwhile, TVL has become the standout investment performer of the Australian online travel industry, with its share price increasing more than 95% over the past 12 months.

It actually went past online rival and former star performer Webjet yesterday, reaching 37 cents compared with 34 cents. Webjet shares have dropped 10.3% over the past year, according to CommSec.

TVL, which has never made money, is now capitalised at A$32 million, while Webjet has a market value of A$113 million after recording a net profit of A$2.4 million in 2005/06.

In other news, Webjet has postponed the December launch of its consumer travel planning and management tool, Planit, until mid-April.

No reasons have been given for the five-month delay.

Webjet Managing Director David Clarke announced Planit in the company’s annual report, hailing it as “a new and extraordinarily exciting additional service.

“It will be a key component in Webjet’s positioning and strategy over the next few years,” Clarke said.

The delay was briefly referenced in a financial statement which confirmed Webjet will not pay a shareholder dividend in 2005/06 despite sitting on more than $25 million cash.

15 December 2006
Copyright TRAVELtech Asia Pacific

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