The Flight Centre Travel Group Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), which incorporates South Africa, is reporting record sales and performance for its half-year results, ending 31 December 2017.
According to its audited financial results, the EMEA region grew 16%, with profit increasing 37%, resulting in the region generating almost 14% of the global group’s sales and about 25% of the group’s Profit Before Tax.
“The established UK, South Africa and UAE businesses all made solid contributions, as productivity increased strongly throughout the region,” confirms Flight Centre Travel Group Limited (FLT) Managing Director, Graham Turner.
FLT itself has achieved more than doubled its growth during the past eight years and continues to deliver consistent growth throughout the trading cycle.
Profit also improved 23.2% in the first half of the financial year. Meanwhile, productivity has improved by 7% as under-performing brands and businesses were closed and loss-making businesses downsized or pivoted to improve results.
A highlight for South Africa during the first half of the year was the launch of Flight Centre’s transactional website. South Africa is also the site of a global Ticket Centre for air, which has helped the group to remove some duplication of functions.
The strong performance from EMEA come off the back of a record Travel Expo, held in Johannesburg, with a 32% increase in sales and 22,000 visitors attend the annual weekend event.
The Travel Expo numbers reflect that South Africans are more eager than ever to travel, says FCTG Middle East Africa MD, Andrew Stark.
“There has certainly never been a better time to travel with a stronger rand and more positive economic sentiment,” says Stark. “It’s certainly a very exciting time to be a South African. The government also appears to be focused on GDP and personal income growth, which can only have a positive impact on the economy and bodes well for the travel sector in the long run.”