Thomas Cook leaps ahead with double digit growth
Moving ahead once again, Thomas Cook (India) Ltd, the leading tour and financial services operator, closed its books of account for the first quarter, ended January 31st 2004, on a highly profitable note. The publicly listed company follows the financial year from November to October in alignment with its international parent Thomas Cook Group.
The company registered a revenue of Rs 334 millions with a Profit before Tax of Rs 126 million, an increase of 31 percent over corresponding period last year. Profit after Tax is notched at Rs 80 million, an increase of 24 percent over the corresponding period last year.
"The last two to three years have been a trying time for the global economy and particularly the travel trade industry. Thomas Cook’s resilience, financial and operational strategy, and focus on customer satisfaction enabled us to outperform," says Ashwini Kakkar, CEO & MD, Thomas Cook (India) Ltd. "Market growth in the last quarter is indicative of the fact that customers have put SARS behind them. And the travel related incentives announced in the recent budget, will further help boost our business," he adds.
With a high brand presence in the holiday segment, Thomas Cook enjoyed a strong inbound season with new business coming in from Belgium and Netherlands charters. The traffic from the UK and German charters into India too had increased by a significant 40 percent. In the outbound market the response to winter packages rose by 25 percent. The company is well into its summer package launch which too has met with tremendous response.
The only non bank with an Authorised Dealer license in foreign exchange, Thomas Cook continued to grow its business volumes in the retail and bulk sales, well over its budget plans. The business has grown its profits despite competition and squeeze of margins.
Thomas Cook was the first agent in India to offer e-ticketing and satellite ticket printing facility to its Corporate clients.
The Insurance business grown more than doubled over last year and its travel insurance policy, the new TravelCare now offer cover for 180 days besides host of unique features like Trip Cancellation , Bail Bond, Home Insurance and Dental Insurance. The Insurance business has also introduced EmigrationCare, a policy especially designed for those moving overseas on immigration visas.
The highly interactive website, www.thomascook.co.in has put in an impressive performance with sales growing by 76% over the previous year. It has also tied up multiple online partnerships, m-commerce initiatives and planned deeper integration with inhouse Call Centre to expand its reach.
To tap the growing tempo of the Indian economy, Thomas Cook has been steadily expanding its network. New branches were opened in Goa, Mauritius and Sri Lanka, while some existing branches were relocated to a greater vantage sites.
"We are also banking on a conducive aviation policy for open skies and outbound charters to create new avenues of business," states Kakkar.