Travelzest plc releases pre-close trading update

From: Travelzest
Published: Fri Jan 14 2011

Travelzest provides pre-close trading review and update on the group's restructuring initiatives ahead of its preliminary results for the year ending 31 October 2010, due for release in late January 2011.

The Board of Travelzest has announced that it anticipates the underlying trading for the year will be in line with Board expectations.

The group, both in Canada and the UK, has performed well in difficult economic markets with an overall 10% increase in departures for summer 2010. Advance bookings for winter 2010/11 departures are up 15% (compared to corresponding period in previous year).

The group's operations in Canada continue to build upon its market leading position with growth in average retail value and margins despite challenging market conditions.  This has been bolstered by the continued success of the regional network and product expansion, as well as through further penetration into the dynamic packaging market.  These actions continue to drive growth in passenger numbers and improvements in summer departures.  This reinforces the group's reduction in its winter dependency and its progress towards a year round offering. 

The division gained strong cost and efficiency benefits from the reorganisation of the operational structure within itravel2000 and The Cruise Professionals. itravel2000 renewed its partnership with Petro Canada for loyalty card members to redeem  and earn points when they book.

The Cruise Professionals was also again named 'Top producing Agency Worldwide' for 2010 with Crystal Cruises and for the 11th year in succession was named in the Conde Nast list of the World's 135 Top Travel Specialists.

The launch of Travelzest's new state of the art customer service centre in Cheltenham has resulted in the consolidation of five offices from various locations in the UK into one facility.  The new facility is interlinked with Travelzest's Canadian Operations allowing for advanced call routing and data network sharing, plus the implementation of a new reservations and inventory system.  This has combined the six legacy systems used and will provide a simplified and more efficient platform from which merchant products can be distributed.  These measures have created a greatly improved structure for UK operations which should be both scalable and more efficient to manage.

The UK economic market has presented a challenging environment for UK Operations. Coupled with the division's restructuring and refocusing initiatives, the division has continued to experience difficulties in capturing market share and maintaining margins.  With the continued development of the organisation and launch of new marketing initiatives, the division is expected to show improved performance.

VFB Holidays, was voted favourite tour operator by 'Which?' members in the consumer champion's holiday survey results.

Net debt for 31 October 2010 is estimated to be in line with Board expectations.

Jonathan Carroll, Travelzest's Chief Executive Officer, commented: "Following a year of extensive and rapid operational restructuring, we are thrilled to be building on our extensive database of customers using our newly updated and efficient systems in order to drive growth. The restructuring of the operations to create a more productive and efficient group will provide continued benefits as the group grows and now allows us to bring together the strength of each operation under a unified team culture with a common goal.

"The newly integrated and restructured systems ensure that we can now cross sell our UK and Canadian offerings efficiently to each market, and with this in mind I am very optimistic that we can enhance shareholder value in the short to medium term."

About Travelzest:
Travelzest has travel retail operations in the United Kingdom and Canada that service consumer bases in both countries as well as the United States of America. Travelzest’s currently has tour operating programs including short breaks to various countries including France, holidays in Cuba, Italy, Malaysia, Mexico, holidays in Morocco and Turkey.

PR contact:
Jack Fraser
Group Chief Operating Officer & Financial Director
2nd Floor Delta Place
27 Bath Road
GL53 7TH
0844 335 6623
Company: Travelzest
Contact Name: Jack Fraser
Contact Email:
Contact Phone: 0844 335 6623

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