CONTINUED GLOBAL ECONOMIC UNCERTAINTY has not deterred business travel, if Hogg Robinson Group's latest figures are anything to go by.
The travel management company (TMC) posted an operating profit of £19.5 million for the first half of its financial year (the six-month period to September 30), a 73 per cent increase on last year's figure. Total revenue was up 9 per cent to £169.2 million, slightly better than the company had forecast.
Financial analysts were impressed by HRG's operating profit margin, up 4.2 percentage points to 11.5 per cent. Between 2008 and 2010 the company reduced its headcount by 16 per cent, but has continued to grow throughout the downturn.
HRG expects growth to slow marginally in the second half of the year and the recruitment of more staff will affect the operating profit margin. But it said it was confident growth would continue over the coming years. It is to adjust its profit forecast for the 2011 to 2013 period by up to 6 per cent.
Investors will also be pleased with the company's returns, with earnings per share up 106 per cent, from 1.6 pence to 3.3 pence.
HRG said its clients' total travel spend had increased by 22 per cent year-on-year, while its client retention remained above 90 per cent.