Travel conglomerate Jetset Travelworld has confirmed a stagnant Australian domestic market – in line with recent commentary from Flight Centre, Wotif and Webjet – with “low growth levels due largely to a decline in average selling price” in the first four months of this financial year. But the burning issue for Jetset remains the terrible under-performance of its corporate travel brand, QBT.
Jetset management cited QBT’s woes as a major reason for a drop in total turnover for the travel giant falling 10%.
On this occasion Tom Dery said QBT had dragged the Group down due to lower Government spending.
However, the under-performance of QBT, formerly Qantas Business Travel, sharply contrasts with a buoyant corporate travel market.
Flight Centre for example recently said corporate has been growing faster than leisure, while business hotels around Australia are full most week days.
JP Morgan belive the QBT turnaround will take time with a possible return to profitability in the 2014 financial year.
On the bright side, the slump in turnover at Jetset has been partly counterbalanced by an improvement in revenue margin and a 9% reduction in costs due to the early impact of a restructure that will ultimately result in 20% of Jetset Travelworld staff losing their jobs.
Chairman Tom Dery forecast a first half profit before tax of $19m, in line with the previous year.
Jetset Travelworld brands include Travelscene American Express, Harvey World Travel, Jetset Travel, Travelworld, bestflights.com.au and readyrooms.com.au.
Meanwhile, Travel Today reports that: “AOT boss Andrew Burnes has invested in the Jetset Travelworld Group after acquiring the vast majority of shares owned by former chief executive Peter Lacaze.
“Burnes is understood to have acquired around 11 million shares in a deal that gives him approximately 3% of the company.” More …