Secret Escapes has appointed its first chief financial officer as the online travel firm plots further growth.

Andy Botha, ex-finance chief of property company Zoopla, has been recruited in the newly-created role, although the luxury holiday discount firm has always had a finance director.

The company offers members-only discounts on holidays, operating across 22 countries.

Chief executive Alex Saint told the Daily Telegraph: “Andy’s experience will be particularly relevant as we focus on strengthening our presence in [other] markets and growing the business.”

Secret Escapes secured £52 million in funding last summer, taking the total equity raised to more than £150 million.

A stock market float is thought to be one of a number of options open to the company, which could value it at around £500 million, according to analysts’ calculations

Botha, who also headed finance at online retailer notonthehighstreet.com, helped grow Zoopla via acquisitions up until its sale to Silverlake for £2.5 billion last year.

Secret Escapes reported a £14.2 million pre-tax loss on £73 million of sales for 2017. Gross bookings were £403 million, about 48% higher than the previous year.

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