Underlying half-year pre-tax profits at Hogg Robinson Group slumped by 29% to £11.3 million.

The decline came as revenue declined by 4% to £162.3 million in the six months to September 30.

The group plans restructuring action to improve long-term competitiveness and to enable it to “benefit from the opportunities and changes taking place in our industry”.

About 46% of all client travel bookings made during the half year were self-booked online, up from 40%.

“We are now seeing the rate of adoption of online self-booking accelerate and at a faster pace than originally anticipated,” HRG said.

“We continue to respond to this, making further reductions to the size of our network and reorganising so that geographical boundaries become less of a feature,” the company said.

“Sadly, this has meant the departure of a number of HRG staff and we wish them well for the future.

“There will always be a need for good, highly skilled travel counsellors offering a quality service.  HRG employs some of the best people in the industry.

“Therefore, redeployment and home working continue to be a feature as we retain their skill set whilst lowering our cost base.

“Working in harmony with our clients’ service preferences, we also continue to make greater use of the lower cost parts of our global network when it makes sense to do so.”

Chief executive David Radcliffe said: “Whilst there have been and continue to be near-term challenges, we have made good progress during the first six months of the current year in delivering on our medium-term strategic priorities.

“Our client retention and new signings bode well for the future, as does our healthy new prospect pipeline.”

He added: “We expect market conditions to remain similar to the first half for the remainder of the year and for the full year we anticipate a performance in line with current market expectations.”

HRG revealed a new contract wit NATO and said revenue in October was up by 2% while trading so far in November was in line with expectations.

Client travel spend in the six months was 6% higher at constant currency with transaction activity ahead by 7%.