Australian online travel company Wotif.com has seen profits drop amid weak consumer demand.
The group’s full-year profit of A$51 million after tax was down by 3.8% on the previous year – its first decline in profits since 2006.
Group managing director and CEO Robbie Cooke said: “The major turbulence being experienced in international and domestic markets is making it difficult to form a medium-term view on consumer spending and retail activity generally.
“All evidence currently shows consumer sentiment deteriorating quite dramatically and in parallel the [Australian] dollar is retreating from its record highs.”
He added: “If the past is any guide, Wotif has performed most strongly in times of financial uncertainty. In these tougher times consumers have not abandoned their holidays – they simply have become more frugal and value focused.
“Travel budgets are reduced and ‘big ticket’ offshire breaks are replaced with domestic breaks and spontaneous getaways – a space which Wotif.com excels.”
The group achieved record transaction value, up by 1% to A$1.1 billion, but accommodation sales dropped to 6.97 million from 7.12 million.