Fred Olsen Travel targets £90m turnover this year

Fred Olsen Travel’s retail division is targeting £90 million turnover this year and £100 million in 2025 as it continues to plan for ambitious growth.

The retail division comprises 19 Fred Olsen Travel high street shops; 57 franchisees under the Go Cruise & Travel brand; and nine licencees.

Last year the division turned over £71.5 million, an increase of £15.2 million on 2022, and £18.2 million up on its best pre-pandemic year.

Retail director Paul Hardwick revealed the goals at the company’s annual conference, where he unveiled plans for the 20th high-street store, opening in June as a concept store in Ringwood, Hampshire.

Hardwick said the final five of its planned 25 shops were due to open in the next 18 months, and revealed “two or three” of these would be concept shops.

The company has grown from just eight high street shops a decade ago, when it delivered a £13 million turnover. It has expanded out of East Anglia into Dorset and Hampshire in 2015 and Sussex in 2022, and made a number of acquisitions.

Hardwick said the addition of new franchisees and shops in the second half of this year would help the company attain its turnover targets.

“We have some ambitious growth targets. We are 14% ahead of last year [so far this year] and the aim is to see that gap [with last year] widen as we get out of peaks,” he said.

The company wants to grow the number of Go Cruise and Travel franchises with more agents that fit its existing business model, he said. It has already taken on five new franchisees this year but wants a further four by the end of the year.

“We want to scale the business to become more commercial and competitive and we can then attract more people to our business,” he noted, adding: “We are trying to build the Go Cruise brand.”

Further acquisitions are possible if “the right opportunity comes up”, he added.

In terms of the future beyond 2025, group managing director Steve Williams said growth would be “to an extent market-led”, adding: “If it’s as buoyant as it looks now then we would like to continue growing.”

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