Hogg Robinson Group client spending and booking volume in the six months through September both fell 8 percent versus the year-earlier period, according to the travel management company. In North America, client transaction volume was flat but spending fell 4 percent. Looking ahead, "the general trend is that we don't expect transactions to fall as much as expenditure," chief executive David Radcliffe told The Beat. "We would expect continuing travel but more belt-tightening." HRG noted that during the past six months it has observed clients enforcing policy much more rigorously and stepping up pre-trip approval processes. The company's six-month results included a 10 percent drop in turnover versus the year-earlier period and a 7 percent decline in underlying profits before tax, to £17.3 million. However, operating profit margin improved to 13.4 percent from 12.5 percent thanks to lower costs achieved mainly by reducing headcount by 400 since September 2011.
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International Consolidated Airlines Group, parent company to British Airways and Iberia, on Friday reported a fourth-quarter profit of €138 million,... read more »