Fri, Nov 22, 2013 - Page 13 News List

Lion Travel set for double-digit growth on Northeast Asia trips

By Amy Su  /  Staff reporter

Travel agency Lion Travel Service Co Ltd (雄獅旅行社) yesterday said revenue this quarter would increase by a double-digit percent from a year earlier on the back of steadily rising outbound travel demand to Northeast Asia.

That extends the company’s strong revenue growth from last quarter, during which Lion Travel posted record-high revenue of NT$5 billion (US$168.71 million), up 25.2 percent from the previous quarter and 21.4 percent from the same period last year, a company statement said.

“We hope sales this quarter will maintain the double-digit rising pace from a year earlier, as most newly launched travel groups set up by Lion Travel in the past two months have been successfully integrated,” Lion Travel vice president of finance Sam Huang (黃玄騰) told an investors’ conference.

Last quarter, net profit surged 87.8 percent to NT$137.64 million, from the second quarter’s NT$73.28 million, more than doubling from NT$41.98 million in the third quarter of last year, the statement said.

For the first nine months of the year, Lion Travel reported a net profit of NT$299.7 million, or NT$4.88 per share, up from NT$98.42 million, or NT$1.74 per share, recorded the previous year, according to the statement.

The strong results have boosted the company’s shares by more than a quarter this month. Its shares rose 1.4 percent to close at NT$109 in Taipei trading yesterday, stock exchange data showed.

“The rise in gross margin and better control of expenditure helped boost the company’s profitability last quarter from a year earlier,” Huang said.

Gross margin stood at 12.94 percent in the third quarter, up from 11.65 percent recorded in the same period last year, the statement’s data showed.

Strong and stable demand for travel to Japan was the other factor driving the company’s sales performance last quarter, Huang said, citing depreciation of the yen.

Huang said momentum led by outbound travel to Northeast Asia may continue to be the most important driver for this quarter and next year, especially for the six-day Lunar New Year holiday next year, which will allow Taiwanese to take trips to the region.

Last quarter, outbound travel to Northeast Asia accounted for 33.8 percent of revenue, up from 23.3 percent recorded a quarter earlier and 28.6 percent recorded a year earlier, followed by outbound long-distance travel, which accounted for 29.6 percent of company sales, statistics showed.

To boost its business in Europe — which accounted for 40 percent of its long-distance travel sales — the company will soon establish its first subsidiary in Europe, possibly in Germany, France or Italy, Huang said.

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