Monarch returns to profitability

Monarch is flying high
Monarch is flying high

The Monarch Group has announced a return to profitability after implementing a successful turnaround plan.

Unaudited figures released this morning for the financial year ending 31 October 2013 showed all its divisions delivered profits in 2013, with its gross turnover seeing a 15.5% increase to GBP1.23 billion.

Monarch Airlines posted an 11.7% rise in turnover to GBP763.2m, while its tour operator arm saw turnover rise 15.4% to GBP336.4m.

Its numbers were helped along by its efficiency programme which has seen GBP52 million saved across the group, while its online traffic has increased 10% to 22 million unique visitors.

Its airline has seen a 10% increase in capacity to 8.1 million seats with a total of 10 million to be on sale by the end of 2016, with plans to order 60 narrow-bodied aircraft in the first quarter of next year at a list price of US$6 billion.

Its tour operations, which includes the Cosmos, Avro and somewhere2stay brands, have seen a 12% increase in passenger numbers to 911,000 with an 18% growth in package holidays booked. Earlier this week TUI had also shown a resurgence in the package holiday sales as customers look for value and security.

“I am delighted to announce the return to profitability of The Monarch Group in 2013. This was the outcome targeted by our 2011 refinancing, which was based on a clear plan that combined the achievement of business efficiencies and intra group synergies with growth strategies for each business area.  All these elements have been delivered in tough markets,” said Iain Rawlinson, executive chairman of the Monarch Group.

“The actions we have taken in the last two years provide strong foundations from which to plan the next phase of growth and development.  Our steady investment in this period – in strengthening the group and divisional management, raising awareness of our trusted travel brands, improving distribution, introducing business efficiencies, and answering the needs of customers – provides a strong platform from which to complete our modernisation agenda.”

New Christmas advertising

The group is now gearing up for a Christmas advertising campaign focused on customer service at Monarch Airlines. The group has already rolled out a ‘WorldHost’ training programme based on the Olympics’ customer service, with its advertisements to show examples of how employees have delivered.

Winter 2013/14 trading is said to be in line with expectations although summer 2014 is currently ‘cautious’ with ‘satisfactory’ sales so far.

“Whilst we are encouraged by the more positive recent economic news of late, in the short-term there remains overcapacity in the aviation industry and we believe many travel customers are cautious about the economic outlook. However, our Group structure, combining the three mutually supporting business areas of the scheduled airline, tour operations and aircraft engineering, each with its own independent growth strategy, provides us with resilience in this very competitive market environment,” added Rawlinson.

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