We are focused on the delivery of our successful strategy.
Market leading brands
We have some of the most recognised and highly trusted brands in the industry, which reduces the cost of customer acquisition and means we are highly attractive to our accommodation providers and distribution partners.
Differentiated, unique products
We are committed to offering our customers a wide choice of differentiated and unique products, which, as well as enhancing customer satisfaction and retention, also improves pricing power and produces a higher quality margin.
We are either the number one or number two tour operator in almost all of our mainstream source markets, including leadership positions in the UK, Germany, France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Canada.
We are the European market leader in online package holiday sales. In addition, we have a market leading presence through our international online accommodation wholesalers and our UK accommodation online travel agent (OTA). We also have a growing presence through our accommodation OTA in Asia and Australia. There is a prevailing trend towards online bookings in all of our source markets and increasing our share of sales made through online channels results in lower distribution costs and higher margins.
Economies of scale
We buy over 150 million roomnights per year, making us one of the largest distributors of accommodation globally. Our scale gives us a competitive advantage when negotiating with suppliers, allowing us to offer excellent value to our customers.
Exposure to higher growth independent travel
Almost one third of our profits are generated by our Accommodation & Destinations (A&D) and Specialist & Activity (S&A) Sectors, which primarily serve the independent travel market. These enjoy high growth and margin characteristics and include specialist tour operators offering unique, experiential travel and online accommodation providers.
Business improvement opportunities
In 2009, we identified £142 million of turnaround opportunities as we took strategic actions to improve margins in a number of underperforming businesses. We delivered £53m of these in 2010 and £42m in 2011. We have identified further opportunities and expect £107m of business improvement profits and cost savings to be delivered over the next three years.
We have established a significant presence in the fast-growing Russian and Ukrainian markets, leaving us well positioned to take advantage of their potential. We have an existing presence in Brazil, China and India and are investigating further opportunities in these exciting markets including capitalising on the outbound licence we have been granted with our joint venture partner in China.
Experienced management team
Each of our businesses is led by highly experienced management teams giving us real strength and depth of leadership. Our leaders have demonstrated excellent track records of building strong businesses and creating value.