Webjet Limited just wowed the market with 2 words

This morning online travel agency Webjet Limited (ASX: WEB) reported a net profit of $22.2 million on revenues of $154.5 million for the full year period ending June 30 2016. The profit and revenues are up 27% and 30% over the prior corresponding year.

The company paid a final dividend of 8 cents per share taking the full year total to 14.5 cents per share out of 27.4 cents in earnings per share for the full year. This places it on a modest payout ratio just above 50% with a trailing yield of 1.7%. It also leaves plenty of scope for further acquisitions such as that of New Zealand-based Online Republic completed during the course of financial year (FY) 2016.

Business to consumer

The group’s business to consumer divisions of the eponymous website, Online Republic and the Asia-focused Zuji brand grew revenues 27.5% to $123.5 million with EBITDA up 39% to $33.2 million. It has now grown total transaction value for 27 consecutive months and continues to benefit from the ongoing acceleration of travel bookings shifting online.

It has also invested heavily in marketing the businesses to consumers recently and announced that July has started strongly across the Webjet business with record monthly total transaction value and EBITDA.

Business to business

This segment is smaller but growing even more robustly under its Lots of Hotels and Sun Hotels brands that essentially offer the digital provision of hotel rooms to the segment’s global travel partners. Segment EBITDA was down 13% to $3.4 million due to heavy investment of $5 million to increase the sales force among other things, however, total revenues were up 39.5% to $331 million and the group is aiming to nearly triple FY17 EBITDA.

Thomas Cook

Webjet has also been spending heavily to undertake preparatory work for a big new partnership deal announced with iconic European travel business Thomas Cook. Indeed these two words suggest Webjet is booking a long-term growth holiday for its business-to-business operations in partnering with the FTSE-listed travel business valued at around $2 billion.

Webjet will pay GBP21 million ($40 million) to enter into the supply agreement with Thomas Cook for the transfer of hotel contracts in what looks a major coup for its entrepreneurial management team in partnering with the primary rival of Flight Centre Travel Group Ltd (ASX: FLT) across high-street store and digital travel booking markets in the key UK and Europe regions.


The group noted FY17 has started strongly and the B2C business is tracking ahead of the five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) target of 10%, with the B2B business ahead of its five-year CAGR target of 30%.

The stock has tripled in value in just over two years and at $8.05 trades on around 29x FY16’s earnings per share. Effectively the price multiple the market is willing to assign the business has doubled in around two years on the back of a biblical re-rating of the business from existentially threatened market dunce to red hot digital growth rocket.

The balance sheet is healthy and management’s track record is impressive, I expect the stock could be bid up out to its AGM on November 23 when it will provide a further market update.

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Motley Fool contributor Tom Richardson owns shares of Webjet Ltd.

You can find Tom on Twitter @tommyr345

The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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