Corporate travel giant Carlson Wagonlit reported encouraging 2013 trading, with continuing economic uncertainty and a decline in US military and government travel the only black spots.


Overall sales volumes decreased 2.7% to $29.6 billion, which CWT said reflected “the continuing variable global economic climate”.


It also said this was attributable to “sequestration efforts” in the US that have led to a reduced demand for military and government travel.


The number of transactions managed by CWT last year declined by 2.3% to 60.3 million.


However, when the numbers excluded the US military and government, CWT said its sales volumes increased 0.3% and the number of transactions process was up 0.4%.


CWT saw strongest growth in the Asia-Pacific region, where transactions increased by 4.5% year on year, driven by operations in China and Japan.


It said strong revenues were recorded in Hong Kong and China with 23% and 9% growth respectively.


Excluding US military and government transactions, North America increased by 0.9%.


Transactions in Latin America decreased by 2.2% year on year, despite strong performance in Mexico, while a drop of 0.8% was recorded in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.


CWT said this reflected the delicate economic climate throughout the EMEA region in 2013.


In the UK and Ireland CWT’s sales volume remained fairly flat with a decrease of just 0.4% at £1.2 billion.


Douglas Anderson, CWT president and chief executive, said: “While the global economic environment remained challenging in 2013, our new business and client retention figures position us well for growth in 2014.


“CWT remains committed to delivering the best in innovative products and technology, combined with best-in-class customer service.


“As the landscape of business travel changes, we are confident that we have the expertise and technology in place to remain at the forefront of the industry.


“Across the globe our CWT teams are dedicated to delivering the very best to our clients – wherever they are, and however they wish to engage with us.”