You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Webjet welcomes surge in overseas bookings

AAP logoAAP 17/08/2016 Petrina Berry

More travellers are booking international flights online as they overcome concerns about web security and do more shopping on their mobiles, a trend Webjet hopes will drive further profit growth.

Despite consumers having no qualms booking domestic flights online, there has long been a reluctance to do the same for international flights, Webjet managing director John Guscic says.

That is now changing thanks to better online security and a growing trend of purchases being made on smartphones and tablets, he said.

"It (international flight bookings) is shifting online now. We are at the start of that journey," Mr Guscic said as Webjet reported stellar annual profit growth that sent its share price to a record high.

"International flights are still only 14 per cent of our bookings and are still only 37 per cent of our total transaction value, but I hazard a guess that when we are here in 12 months time it will grow at an accelerated rate.

"We have a long runway ahead of us and we are never going to run out of opportunities."

Webjet made a net profit of $22 million in the year to June 30, up 27 per cent on the previous year, while revenue rose 29 per cent to $155 million.

Mr Guscic said all businesses in the group's digital retail and digital wholesale divisions achieved strong bookings growth and increased market share during 2015/16.

He said recent terrorist attacks in Turkey and Europe had not scared Australians from travelling overseas, but had prompted many to change their plans.

"When it occurs, we see massive cancellations to that destination," Mr Guscic.

"What we also see on the same day is a massive uplift in bookings somewhere else."

Shares in Webjet soared, up $1.65, or 20.5 per cent, to $9.70, adding $160 million to its market value.

Webjet has also announced a partnership with London-based travel giant Thomas Cook's hotel business.

The deal will give Webjet's European online hotel business Sunhotels access to another 3,000 hotels across Europe.

Mr Guscic said Sunhotels had a 43 per cent jump in bookings in the second half of 2015/16, with the top growth destinations being the United Arab Emirates, Italy, Spain, USA and Thailand.

WEBJET PROFITS SOARS:

* Full year profit up 27pct at $22.2m

* Revenue up 29pct at $155.3m

* Fully franked final dividend up 0.75 cents to 8.0 cents

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon