The company took positive early steps on the path to post-COVID recovery during FY22 by:
- Increasing market-share in key countries and sectors
- Achieving its targeted leisure and corporate return to profitability timeframes; and
- Delivering better than expected full year earnings
Recovery was driven by rapid sales growth globally after governments relaxed or removed international and domestic travel restrictions, with TTV and revenue increasing 162% to $10.3billion and 154% to $1billion respectively over the full year.
Chris Galanty, Global CEO of Flight Centre Corporate:
“After the turbulence of the last few years, it is encouraging to see strong recovery across our global corporate business. This emphatic rebound signifies the importance of meeting people and customers face-to-face despite the enormous logistical challenges currently existing in the industry.
“Over the last 12 months, we have focussed on delivering a winning growth strategy that is intrinsically customer centric. This reflects the changed requirements around business travel in a post-COVID world and how we are seamlessly blending the latest technology with an emphasis on VIP service.
“The ongoing disruption impacting the wider industry has further reinforced the need for the support of a very professional travel management company to minimise these frictions. Alongside investments in developing highly personalised digital technology, we have also employed new staff to deal with anticipated demand. As a people-first business, our biggest priority is to look after our customers and continuing to deliver fantastic service despite the challenges.
“This approach has clearly given us a distinct competitive advantage and enabled our duo of category-leading brands FCM and Corporate Traveller to swiftly ramp-up and capitalise on improving conditions. Rather than relying on the market coming back, instead we have boosted global market-share through retention and growth, welcoming a raft of new customers generating a multi-billion dollar (AUD) pipeline of new accounts.
“Near-term, clearly the global economy is not yet firing on all cylinders, and the industry will continue to be tested in a number of areas; however, the current frictions we are seeing in travel are improving month over month, and as the world adapts, we anticipate this will continue to get better.”
Tom Walley, Corporate Traveller Global Managing Director:
“As international travel roars back to pre-pandemic levels, it’s heartening to see SME’s spearheading the return of the business traveller. We close off the financial year in terrific shape, reinforcing Corporate Traveller’s recovery from the impacts of the pandemic and furthering our position as THE travel management company for SME’s.
“Our secret sauce? We put it down to the power of our people, bolstered by great tech. Our high-tech high-touch approach firmly places our customers’ needs front and centre. This is what defines us, and why we are leading the charge in the SME space and in the global markets where we operate.
“As business travel continues to ramp up at pace, new priorities for travellers are emerging. Having accelerated our investment in next generation technology during the pandemic, we’ve been able to swiftly provide an immediate solution in the shape of Melon, our new proprietary travel management platform.
“Through the actions we’ve taken – improved digital experience, reinvigorated products and services – we are helping customers maximise their productivity, make decisions around their travel programmes while keeping their travellers informed and safe before and during trips as they propel their businesses forward in this changed world.
“With global corporate travel bookings now exceeding pre-pandemic levels, it is this powerful commitment in our business and customers that sets us apart from the competition and why we’ve gaining market-share globally though significant account retention and record account wins over the past year.
“Despite the challenges of the current economic environment, the outlook for Corporate Traveller and SME travel is positive, evidenced by robust performance to date. Alongside our clients and industry partners, we are running the business for the long term and are confident that we are well-positioned to continue driving value in the year ahead.”
Comments from Marcus Eklund, FCM Global Managing Director:
“The past year has seen a resurgent global FCM business which is testament to the growing confidence among our clients in FCM’s products, services, and people. With an operational footprint that spans over 100 countries, we have experienced immediate and strong uplift in key locations as restrictions eased. This is particularly true of America and the EU, where business travel has firmly rebounded.
“Having accelerated our investment in next generation omnichannel technology throughout the pandemic, we were able to ramp up swiftly and provide innovative solutions through the debut of our new proprietary platform, and further boosted our capabilities with the launch FCM Booking in the US and Canada. These significant developments reflect our focus on user experience and flexibility, and firmly position us as leaders in the tech travel space.
“It is this ability to deliver an incomparable, globally consistent experience alongside enhanced service and support, that gives us a competitive advantage and has proven to be incredibly appealing to clients and prospects. So much so, over the last 12 months, we’ve fast-tracked market-share growth and clinched a record-breaking number of new accounts.
“However, there is no doubt that the pandemic has introduced added complexity and sharpened the way we meet ever-changing client requirements. Admittedly, the return to travel has not been without its challenges and caused a lot of friction in the industry and supply chain. And while this has negatively impacted the traveller experience in the short term, we expect this friction to slowly ease in the coming months.
“In this ever-evolving travel landscape, we will continue to adapt through investment in user-centric tech and innovative services, working collaboratively with our customers, travel partners and industry bodies as we shape the future business travel experience.
“While there will likely be further hurdles to overcome – many outside of our control – our actions through the pandemic demonstrated our resilience and preparedness for whatever challenges occur and gives us confidence in the year ahead.”
Please see the full results online (https://www.asx.com.au/asxpdf/20220825/pdf/45d7pt7ycph4x1.pdf)