Travel Counsellors has reported sales in January in the UK were up 17% year on year and February has so far seen sales up 38%.

The Bolton-based agency was also boosted by even bigger rises for its overseas agents in the Netherlands, Australia, South Africa, Canada, Ireland and the US.

So far this financial year, total group sales are up £75.3 million, 23% in the UK, and have doubled overseas to £20 million.

Managing director Steve Byrne said the average income of a counsellor has risen 23% in the UK during the first quarter from November.

He put the improved performance down to expansion overseas and the way counsellors have been encouraged to keep close contacts with their customers.

Agents using Travel Counsellors’ Phenix dynamic packaging system are making margins of 19%-20%, Byrne said. “These results are exceptional in the current market.”

Total group sales were forecast to rise from £255 million to £320 million this financial year.