Thomas Cook bucks the travel market trend to post profits
Thomas Cook (India) Ltd, the leading travel and financial services company today announced credible results for the half year ended April 30, 2003.
With revenue up two percent to Rs 52.52 crore, (Rs 51.55 crore for the corresponding period in the previous year ), the company has demonstrated its resilience in the most challenging market conditions in the recent memory. Profit after tax, impacted by some one-off expenditure and deferred tax, was posted at Rs 8.80 crore as compared to Rs 11.17 crore for the corresponding period last year.
The company experienced strong growth in the early part of the year followed by a sharp downturn in mid-march as the Gulf war began. "I am delighted, however, that once again the company has demonstrated its ability to bounce back strongly despite the influence of external factors like adverse travel advisories, curtailing of flights by many airlines, and the general concern about travel among masses," says Ashwini Kakkar, CEO and MD, Thomas Cook (India) Ltd. The company has performed well and improved it topline, he adds.
Pre-gauging customer desires and requirements as new business opportunities, Thomas Cook had launched an extensive range of up-market and mid-segment domestic packages about a couple of years ago. " With a comparative slow down in the outbound traffic, the company focussed on domestic tourism this season and in fact doubled this business," says Sunil Gupta, Head-Leisure Travel.
In the Outbound segment too it promoted alternate and appealing destinations like South Africa, Kenya, Japan, Maldives, Mauritius and Egypt. Thomas Cook now offers holiday packages to all five continents.
In the new business of Insurance, Thomas Cook launched ScholarCare, an overseas insurance for students studying abroad and TravelPerks, a comprehensive travel solution for a hassle free trip for frequent travellers. "Insurance has been a highly successful area of activity for us," says Kakkar.
The company has a highly interactive website thomascook.co.in to facilitate online holiday search and offers added features like personalised customer accounts, destination guides, online airline seats and hotel reservation, an online purchase of foreign exchange and travel insurance policies.
"India is an emerging market and the high potential tourism industry is extremely resilient," adds Kakkar even as he explains that the rate of bookings has picked up rapidly this month.