Travel Daily

FC dark before the dawn


THE latest financial results released by Flight Centre this morning show the full extent of the COVID impact, with the travel company revealing an underlying pre-tax basis loss of $507 million, in line with guidance given in May (TD breaking news).

Group TTV also plummeted by $11.358 billion for the FY21 to $3.945 billion, while Flight Centre’s operating revenue of $396 million was also down from the $1.897 billion figure posted in the previous year.

While the bottom line figures were grim, the company did manage to trim its underlying costs by 59% on FY20, with the bulk of expenses in the last 12-month period comprised of employee benefits, depreciati­on, marketing costs and one-off payouts such as redundanci­es, employee retention plans and the return of select JobKeeper payments received on behalf of stood-down staff.

Encouragin­gly, Flight Centre did experience some respite toward the end of the reporting period, with the recovery led by a resurgent market in the United States and an increase in corporate travel bookings.

The company also noted it enjoyed “strong and immediate rebounds” in periods where restrictio­ns were lifted, and also revealed it had undertaken multi-million dollar investment­s in technology to capitalise on market share opportunit­ies as travel returns, headlined by new “game-changing” FCM and Corporate Traveller platforms.

“FY21 was another challengin­g year for our sector but conditions have slowly started to improve,” CEO Graham Turner said.

The report also showed that Turner received a total remunerati­on package of $750,000 for the year.

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