THE continuing improvement being seen in the economy appears to feeding through to the corporate travel market as more company bosses look to seek out new business opportunities.
Travel management group HOGG ROBINSON recently reported corporate travel spend up by 11 per cent and activity ahead by 15 per cent compared to last year.
Growth in both the UK and North America helped the group see pre-tax profits up by 3 per cent to £35.8 million in the year to March.
“As global activity broadly strengthened during the year, led by advanced economies, we saw continued and accelerating growth in the UK and North America, where client activity and travel expenditure were ahead of prior year,” said chief executive David Radcliffe.
Brokers at Edison said it believed the company was responding well to a changing corporate travel market and expects further core profit gains in the current year.
“The new business pipeline is very healthy, as is the opportunity to expand relationships with existing clients,” they explained in a research note.
It said the company’s focus on new markets such as the events sector and new markets including marine, offshore and energy sectors was paying off.
Edison points out that the group’s rating is well below that of the market and the sector.
n Shares in conveyor belt maker FENNER dropped last week after the company warned annual results for the year ending August will be below forecasts owing to weakness in the US coal market.
Although trading conditions are improving in Australia, a subsidiary has been unsuccessful in a competitive tender for the supply of equipment to an iron ore miner there.
Fenner said profit before tax for the year could fall by as much as 15 per cent below current market expectations.
The announcement prompted analysts at Numis Securities to downgrade its rating on the stock from “add” to “hold”.
Numis warned the shares “will continue to trade poorly until evidence of a recovery in its end market prevails”.