Opodo parent sees growth despite ‘challenging environment’

Odigeo, claimed as the largest European online travel agency formed by the merger of Opodo, eDreams, Go Voyages, and Travellink, reported 450 million more bookings last year over 2010.

The Spanish business said gross bookings for the 2011 fiscal year hit 3.9 billion as combined customer numbers reached 14.1 million.

Odigeo, owned by AXA Private Equity, Permira, and its executive team, saw growth outside its traditional markets of the UK, Spain, France Germany, Scandinavia and Italy in regions as diverse as Argentina, Ireland the US, Peru and Mexico.

No financial information was provided but the company said turnover had grown.

“In addition, the benefits obtained from the integration of the four brands rose to several million euros,” the company, which operates in 28 countries, said.

Odigeo UK country director Caroline Noble said the company achieved growth in sales and passengers served despite a challenging economic climate and competitive environment.

Overall staff numbers increased by 18% as more than 200 people were hired across 14 divisions to bring the total up to 1,300.

Co-founder and chief executive Javier Pérez-Tenessa said that “the key to these results is the merger of the four brands, and the company’s strategic plan, which is based on three pillars: innovation, diversification and internationalisation”.

He emphasised the international character of the group as being “a key factor in achieving these excellent results in a year that was still in a global economic crisis”.

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