PROFITS at holiday firm Barrhead Travel have taken off after the economic downturn led to turbulence for its rivals.
The company, which acts as both a travel agency and a tour operator, posted a 73 per cent rise in pre-tax profits for 2011 to just under £1.9 million, according to accounts filed at Companies House.
Chairman Bill Munro, who founded the company in 1975, said: “We have benefited in these difficult times as less well-managed businesses continue to fail, resulting in less competition.
“Despite the difficult challenges faced in 2012, with the continual financial uncertainty in both the UK and the eurozone, we are forecasting further growth.
“We have increased our presence south of the Border by opening a cruise call centre in Cumbria and we seek to grow our brand worldwide through specialised websites.
“This – combined with our marketing strategy, investment new systems and control of costs – will results in another successful year for Barrhead Travel.”
Sales rose by 30 per cent to £128.9m during 2011, with the firm’s revenues jumping to £42.2m from £31.7m.
Travel agency commission increased to £11.5m from £9.4m, while tour operator sales were up to £27.1m from £22.3m.
Sharon Munro, Bill’s daughter and the chief executive of Barrhead Travel, recently revealed that the rise in sales had continued into the current financial year, with turnover up 20 per cent to £27.5m in the three months to 31 March.
She said that her firm’s increase in sales by one-fifth compared with an 8 per cent fall for the UK travel industry as whole.
In April, Sharon told The Scotsman: “All of our departments have performed exceptionally well throughout the first three months of the year.”
Barrhead opened seven stores last year to take its total to 35 in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
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