Webjet beats expectations with $150 million turnaround

·2-min read
Nikki Short/AAP PHOTOS

Webjet has delivered a $150 million turnaround as a restructuring of its business-to-business marketplace for the travel industry pays off.

The online travel marketplace said on Wednesday it made $134.8 million in underlying earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) in 2022/23, compared to a $15m underlying EBITDA loss the year before.

It made $364.4 million in revenue in the 12 months to March 31, up 164 per cent from the year before and up 89 per cent in calendar 2019, before the pandemic.

It declared a statutory net net profit after tax of $14.5m, from a $81.6m loss the year before.

Travel has yet to fully return to what it was before the COVID-19 pandemic, managing director John Guscic said, but in the second half, group bookings, total transaction value, and EBITDA were all ahead of where they were from when the pandemic hit.

The company said its WebBeds marketplace for the global travel industry was ahead of pre-pandemic levels on all key metrics across the financial year.

"Executing against our transformation strategy is paying off - we have retooled that business, streamlined the technology platform, eliminated inefficiencies and found ways to service markets that had not previously been open to us," Mr Guscic said.

Webjet.com.au, its online travel agency, handled 13 million bookings, down 19 per cent from calendar 2019, but their average value was up 15 per cent to $1,025.

Its EBITDA increased 29 per cent to $43.4m.

Ticket pricing continues to be significantly higher than pre-pandemic levels, impacting demand, the company said.

The company ended the year with $514m in cash but did not declare a dividend.

The company said a number of highly profitable market opportunities were now open to it following the pandemic but didn't give details.

RBC Capital Markets analyst Wei-Weng Chen called it an overall strong result from Webjet, with EBITDA beating consensus expectations by 7.9 per cent.

At 2.05pm AEST, WEB shares were up 4.0 per cent to $7.595, their highest level since March 2020.