Online and homeworking travel agency Holidaysplease has returned to profitability for the first time since the start of the Covid pandemic.
The company reported a “modest” five figure profit in its August 2021 management accounts. It is the first month the homeworking firm has seen a profit since February 2020.
Director Charles Duncombe said the profit followed a pick-up in sales as international travel resumed.
The company now has more than £30 million in booked forward business, with commissions on these bookings expected to cover losses incurred during Covid.
Duncombe said: “I was a little surprised when our in-house accountant gave me the figures. I did ask her whether she had simply run out of red ink! Luckily it proved to be correct thanks to departures at long last picking up at the start of the autumn.
“We spent a huge amount of money during Covid to maintain our brand and customer goodwill. We didn’t make anyone redundant and in fact we took on people.
“We see this extra cost as a sensible investment, as we now have over £30 million of forward business booked, which is double where we’d expect to be in a normal year. The commission on these bookings should cover all our losses, provided it travels of course.”
The company said sales for September had marginally exceeded 2019, while October sales were running “well ahead” of 2019. It hopes it will now be back in regular profit each month.
Holidaysplease is currently looking to recruit more homeworkers to meet current demand levels and has also offered to “borrow” staff from travel agencies which are struggling to keep on staff during the slower winter months before sales pick up again for summer next year.