Webjet profit halves

Costs rise on acquisition, expansion; domestic travel flat.

Online flight booking service Webjet will focus on building margin in a moderating travel market, holding off on providing guidance until its AGM in November this year.

Despite a 28% increase in revenue for the year to $76 million, Webjet’s net profit plunged over 50% to $6.48 million as it chased growth.

Analysts had forecast net profit to be around $14.6 million for the period.

Marketing and operating costs grew 40% during the year, while technology costs more than tripled as it the company expanded into Asia and integrated the Dubai-based Lots of Hotels business and travel website Zuji.

Normalised net profit after tax was up 5.6% to $14.4 million.

The company declared a 7 cent fully franked interim dividend, taking the full year dividend to 13 cents, payable on October 17.