WOTIF PROFITS DROP WITH FOCUS ON MARKETING EXPENDITURE

WOTIF PROFITS DROP WITH FOCUS ON MARKETING EXPENDITURE

WOTIF.COM Holdings Limited has suffered an 11.1 per cent decline in operating profit to $36.4 million, following increased marketing and information technology costs to compete with rival travel companies.

Net profit after tax decreased 18 per cent to $22.64 million, despite a record jump in revenue to $75.8 million – up 3.5 per cent from the previous corresponding period.

Managing director and chief executive officer Scott Blume (pictured) says the increased expenditure is in line with the company’s strategic plan.

“This work is progressing on budget and on schedule and is likely to be completed by the end of FY14.

“The current result includes incremental investment in technology costs totalling $1.5 million when compared to the prior corresponding period.

“This is in addition to an increase in information technology amortisation of $1.8 million, compared to the same half last year,” he says.

An additional $4.5 million was spent on marketing, to highlight the company’s flight offering and partnerships with other brands.

Blume says their revenue growth is an achievement, in a heavily saturated market.

“In a competitive retail environment we have been able to grow total revenue on the back of some impressive growth in the flights business and the margin initiatives for ANZ accommodation.

“These gains have been offset by a 6 per cent decline in accommodation TTV (total transaction value).”

The company plans to focus on growing its offshore market in the next half of the year, particularly in Asia.

WTF will pay a fully franked interim dividend of 10c per share on March 26.

Shares are up 0.181 per cent, trading at $2.75 each.

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