Lowcostbeds has reported an increase in trade sales of 30% for the first half of the year as it scales back on its direct business.

Speaking at a lunch for trade partners, Lowcost Travel Group chief executive Paul Evans said:  “Business to consumer is less important than it was. Our investment is absolutely in B2B and you’ll notice that our B2C business will have shrunk this year and that’s going to continue.”

The bed bank aims to have 15,000 directly contracted hotels by the end of year and has added to its contracting team. “We have to get the deals, the rest is flim-flam,” said Evans.

The group’s margins have increased 11% for the year to date, mainly thanks to entering new overseas markets. Expanding internationally continues to be a focus for the company, but Evans said this would not detract from the UK market.

“International is growing; yesterday it was 39% of our business. We’re selling in 19 countries now, but the UK will always remain the most important market for Lowcost. We will continue to expand internationally, but not at the expense of the UK.”

Evans said the business, which left Abta recently, was in a strong financial position as a result of buying and selling companies. “We want to position ourselves as one of the top three bed banks in the UK,” he said.

Group director of sales Paul Riches said: “We are working smarter with our trade partners to ensure to offer them a more organised and mature business with a focus on their real needs.”