Hays Travel profit more than triples to top £51m

Hays Travel has reported its group profit before tax in the year ended April 30, 2023, was £51.6 million, an increase of 259% year-on-year from £14.4 million.

The agency group’s annual accounts also show that the group’s total transaction value (TTV) in the year was £2.19 billion – an increase of more than 103% on the same period in 2022 (£1.07 billion).

The company revealed at its conference in November 2023 that it had more than tripled profits during the 2022-23 financial year, while sales doubled, but the financial figures have now been made public.

The independent agency chain said 2022-23 was its strongest ever trading year, thanks to factors such as “a readiness for travel after years of lockdown, key destinations opening at the peak holiday booking time, and customers seeking the reassurance and expertise of a travel agent”.

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Dame Irene Hays, owner and chair of Hays Travel, said: “Our 2022-23 results show good growth in all areas of the business.

“A significant factor in this was the speed with which consumer confidence returned post-pandemic.

“Across the communities we serve around the UK there is a huge appetite for travel and experiences – people want to invest in precious time exploring the world.

“Early in 2022-23 restrictions were still evident in some destinations, however we were well prepared to take advantage of the ‘bounce back’ as the year progressed, which is evident in our financial results.”

Established with one shop in 1980, Hays Travel is now the UK’s largest independent travel agent with 470 retail branches, expanding homeworking and franchise divisions, and a growing number of Independence Group members, for whom Hays provides back-office expertise and support.

As well as existing customers returning to travel, 41% of those booking holidays in the last year were new to both Hays Travel and the Thomas Cook shops that Hays Travel acquired in 2019.

Dame Irene added: “After the uncertainty and challenges of recent years, it’s been reassuring to see more confidence and stability in travel in 2022-23.

“This buoyant year has enabled us to invest in our strategic priorities – our customer experience, our people, and the communities where we operate.

“We have continued to expand our retail network and are pleased to have seen growth in our homeworking, franchise, and Independence Group divisions.

“It’s testament to our customers and our people that we begin 2024 in such a positive position.”

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