Barrhead Travel reports record annual results

Barrhead Travel reports record annual results

Expanding Scottish agency Barrhead Travel saw profits rise by more than 20% to £18.2 million in 2012.

The group recorded a turnover of £155.671 million, an increase of 20.8% on the same period in 2011, and is targeting sales of £200 million this year.

The group created 150 jobs and opened 15 new stores in the last financial year.

Chief executive Sharon Munro said: “We have enjoyed significant growth in the last year by considering the different routes to market available to us and by looking to Scottish, UK and indeed global markets for expansion opportunities in domestic and corporate travel through traditional and online means.

“As well as investing in technology, we have expanded our retail network, and especially our homeworking and franchise model, where we have been able to recruit a pool of experienced travel professionals who have found themselves out of work as a result of contraction and closures elsewhere in the sector.

“We also acquired a wholly internet-based business, The Cruise Specialists, in December 2012, which has impacted on 2013 alone. It has strengthened our expertise in this market and will add in the region of £30 million annual sales to the group.”

Munro continued: “We will invest an additional £300,000 in new stores on high streets across Scotland and the North of England.

“We are on target for sales of £200 million in 2013 while continuing to reinvest in the business.

“Spend on travel is forecast to increase rapidly as the country comes out of recession and Barrhead Travel intends to capitalise on this.”

Barrhead, which remains a debt free company, says it was one of the first UK travel companies to recognise the commercial potential of online channels in complementing its 55-strong network of locations and 750-strong workforce. A large investment in developing its 13 websites and Apple and Android apps has helped contribute to the firm’s growth.

The company has also developed a sophisticated management information technology programme which has received interest from travel companies from Australia, North and South America who are looking to licence the technology from Barrhead.

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