The Co-operative Travel made an operating profit of £2.5 million in 2009.
Sales were down 5.9% from £262 million in 2008 to £246 million but managing director Mike Greenacre said he was nonetheless pleased with the figures, describing last year as the most challenging period the travel industry has experienced.
“While the 2009 results are not as favourable as the previous year’s, and below our earlier expectations, it is a testament to the dedication and commitment of everyone at The Co-operative Travel that we remained profitable during a torrid year,” he said.
“Our retail network continues to outperform the market, and the Freedom Travel Group, our independent member consortia, has seen significant growth.”
Greenacre believes 2010 will be another difficult year, with the general election, the World Cup and continued economic uncertainty potentially impacting on bookings.
He added: “But as with previous years, we made some difficult decisions during 2009 and continued to streamline operations and invest in the business to keep us on track, all of which will put us in the best possible position to emerge from the recession and tackle the challenges ahead.
“I would like to extend my personal thanks to everyone for their continued hard work and commitment to ensure The Co-operative Travel Group is well positioned in this period of recovery which will enable us to be back on track with our three-year plan by 2012.”
Greenacre hailed the company’s e-commerce division as a particular success story of 2009, with sales up 200% on 2008 and 22% ahead of budget.
He said he expected further planned investment in new applications to continue pushing the steep rise in online sales.