Leading cruise travel agent Reader Offers has seen profits increase despite its decision to stop actively promoting Complete Cruise Solution brands after last year’s commission cut to 5%.
Prior to the commission cut, the Colchester-based firm had been the largest seller of Cunard cruises in the world, with CCS accounting for 45% of its business. That figure now stands at 7%.
However, Reader Offers has forged strong partnerships with alternative operators, and cumulatively business with them is up 13%.
The impact of the decision not to work with CCS on 5% commission led to the company’s overall turnover falling by 7% but “bottom-line profitability” increasing by 50% for the year ending April 30.
Profits for the last year stood at £2.15 million, compared with £1.33 million in 2010-11.
Jeremy Dickinson, managing director, said: “The partnerships that we now have with our main cruise line partners are stronger than ever.
“We don’t get every promotion 100% right but rely on each other to make our mutual businesses successful by having a common goal and shared interest. You have to trust your partners and we work hard to sell their cruises, not just from a volume point of view but also from a strategic point of view, obtaining maximum revenue for them as far out from departure as possible.
“It is of paramount importance that cruise is sold correctly. Discounting doesn’t sell any more holidays for the cruise lines, it just moves it around among agents who have no other message – anyone can sell £1 for 90p,” Dickinson added.
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