Barrhead Travel sales grow despite ‘difficult’ year

Barrhead Travel chief executive Sharon Munro. Picture: Robert Perry
Barrhead Travel chief executive Sharon Munro. Picture: Robert Perry
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Holidays firm Barrhead travel today said it had weathered “difficult” market conditions by posting an 8.5 per cent rise in annual sales.

Turnover at the group came in at £267 million for 2015, up from £246m the previous year, helped an 18 per cent uplift in the number of passengers flying to the US, with traffic to Spain up 10 per cent.

READ MORE: Barrhead Travel launches sixth store in Edinburgh

Barrhead also said that cruise turnover jumped 20 per cent to £70m, while foreign exchange were up almost a third year-on-year.

Chief executive Sharon Munro said: “I am delighted with our results especially in what was a difficult trading year. The travel industry is a high-volume, low-margin business as shown by our average profit being only £10 per passenger.”

Munro said the firm, founded in 1975, had “exciting plans” for the remainder of this year, including the introduction of virtual reality headsets into its stores to allow customers to view hotel rooms and “destination experiences” before they book.

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She added: “We are also about to launch a new online customer portal providing customers with a secure online space which allows the Barrhead team to deliver a very personalised and unique service from start to finish.”

Barrhead, which is planning to add five stores a year to its estate over the next few years, employs more than 900 staff, of whom 800 are based in Scotland.

It will also be launching its own training academy in Glasgow next month as it aims to bring in 100 staff each year.

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