UNI - EN REPORT No
UNI - EN REPORT No14/2019
2019 first-quarter highlights:
Novaturas’s turnover was EUR 28.8 mln, or 12% more than in the same period of 2018.
Gross profit amounted to EUR 3.6 mln and was 26% lower than in the same period of 2018.
Operating expenses totaled EUR 3.6 mln, 1% less than in the same period of 2018. Excluding the impact of commissions and one-off expenses, operating costs increased by 3% from the same period a year earlier.
EBITDA amounted to EUR 83,000 and was 94% smaller than in the same period of 2018.
Novaturas had a net loss of EUR 0.1 mln, compared to a net profit of EUR 0.9 mln in the same period of 2018.
The company served 41,097 clients, 9% more than in the same period of 2018.
After very strong growth in the first quarters of both 2017 and 2018, first-quarter growth this year was slower. We expect slower growth in demand in 2019 after a near doubling of the market in the last three years. The profitability of first-quarter sales was less than last year partly due to very low demand in January, though it then picked up in February and March. Increased aviation costs in Lithuania (after Small Planet Airlines bancruptcy late last year) added EUR 0.2 million to the cost of sales during the first quarter. Novaturas business is characterised by high share of early bookings in total programme, which makes future revenues more predictable. As of 31 March 2019, the Group recorded 2.6% increase (by PAX) in early bookings for the summer season compared to the same period ofthe previous year.
Flight package tours continue to be our main product. The most popular destinations remain Turkey, Greece and Bulgaria for the summer season, and Egypt for the winter season. Long-haul destinations increased in the first quarter, becaming second in importance in the winter season, while the Canary Islands’ share decreased. The wide variety of destinations in our portfolio enables us to satisfy our clients’ diverse needs.
The number of clients served grew in all the source markets where Novaturas operates. The strongest growth was recorded in the Belarusian market, where the number of clients increased 26%. We do not fly from Belarus, but rather sell our Lithuanian products through Belarusian agencies. The Lithuanian source market grew 1% in the first quarter, while the Latvian market grew by 20% and the Estonian market was up 14% compared to last year.
Passenger growth was strongest for flight package tours, at 11%. The growth rate for roundtrips by plane was 10% and that for other products was 5%. Roundtrips by coach decreased by 23%, but the first quarter is the least important time of the year for this product category. The other products passengers bought were mainly flight tickets for charter flights which we operate. We sell tickets mainly through travel agencies and via the GDS channel, reaching very diverse types of travelers.
Travel agencies’ share in our sales increased by 0.3 percentage points in the reporting period to 71.5%. Our own retail share increased by 0.1 percentage points to 12.8% of sales, while web sales’ share decreased by 0.4 percentage points to 14.1% and GDS sales were little changed at 1.6%. During the quarter we undertook some internal reorganizations to boost the effectiveness of our marketing efforts in the future.
We kept operating expenses under control during the reporting period. They grew at a much slower pace than sales, increasing the efficiency of the company. Direct marketing expenditures were 0.9% of sales, down from 1.3% last year. Salaries and related items increased by 6% relative to the same period last year. Excluding the impact of commissions and one-off expenditures, operating expenses increased by 3% versus the same period last year. One-time expenses, due mainly to a change of the company’s CEO, totaled EUR 80,000. Including one-time costs, operating costs less commissions paid decreased by 9%. Total costs, including commissions, shrank by 1%. Commission expenses remained stable at 5.1% of sales, compared to 5.0% in the same period last year.
Restricted cash was used for issuing guarantees to cover prepayments received from customers, as required by the law in each country of operations. The remaining amount of other financial assets is mainly the market value of open hedge contracts.
Servicing of the long-term loan is in accordance with the loan agreement. The company met covenant requirements agreed with Luminor Bank AS. The high level of advances received from customers was due to a strong increase in passenger volumes and very good advance sales at the end of the period.
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