Highly acclaimed online tailor-made operator Audley Travel made a £13.7 million loss in 2016 but said the year saw strong underlying growth.
Annual accounts posted on Companies House last week under parent company name Boketto Holdco Ltd reported adjusted Ebitda (profit before tax and other costs) of £20.62 million.
Adjusted Ebitda took account of exceptional costs related to the sale of Audley to Boketto in December 2015. The report stated the directors considered this “to be a satisfactory result”.
It reported: “2016 reflected a successful period of growth for the underlying business as the business continued to deliver excellent service to clients.”
The filing added: “The group’s main UK trading subsidiary Audley Travel Group Limited (‘Audley Travel’) has continued to invest in its people and product, working with suppliers to maintain the provision of inspiring travel experiences.
“The continued focus on client service, allied to strong commercial awareness, has allowed sales and adjusted Ebitda to continue to grow.”
Audley said the firm had been able to establish itself in the US where it has an office in Boston. It said the US market “continues to demonstrate strong growth, driven by the same focus on excellent client service and commercial awareness”.
The group said it continued to monitor its liquidity and said it exceeded requirements imposed by industry regulator the CAA for cash resources throughout 2016.
The Boketto figures show the company incurred finance costs of £26.14 million in 2016 mainly through interest payments.
The group said it used “external financing” including equity and bank lending to support its strategy and in January 2016 raised funding from “six financially stable lenders for a six-year term”.
The company directors “consider the funding needs of the company to be robust”, the report stated.
Audley said the market it operated in was growing and forecast “further growth can be achieved by increasing the breadth of travel choices we offer, as well as taking market share from competitors”.
Ian Simkins, chief executive of Audley Travel, said: “We continue to be very pleased with our growth driven by an ongoing focus on bookings from repeat and recommended clients, consistently delivering excellent service and unique travel experiences.”