Scotland business

Barrhead Travel revenues take off but profits fall

Barrhead Travel store in Belfast Image copyright Barrhead Travel

Scottish holiday firm Barrhead Travel has reported strong revenue growth, citing increased sales of solo holidays, adventure travel, cruising and touring.

The travel agency said sales rose by 6.6% last year to £320m.

However, pre-tax profit slipped from £1.9m in 2017 to £600,000.

Barrhead attributed the fall in part to increased investment in new stores and technology upgrades and higher training costs.

The firm, which is owned by US travel specialist Travel Leaders Group, described its sales increase as a "healthy, positive performance ahead of the market".

President Jacqueline Dobson said: "We significantly reinvested back into the business during 2018 and we will continue to invest and evolve to adapt to the changing demands of customers.

"We have plans to invest further in our online experience as well as a commitment to reinvesting in bricks and mortar by integrating state-of-the-art technology into our retail stores."

'Imminent priorities'

Commenting on the recent collapse of Thomas Cook, Ms Dobson said Barrhead's "imminent priorities" were to look after customers affected.

She added: "Our team have been working round the clock since 02:00 on Monday to make alternative arrangements for our customers.

"There are also a number of vacancies across our branch network - including home working opportunities - and we're trying to help as many former Thomas Cook employees get back into work as soon as possible."

Barrhead is one of the UK's biggest retail travel firms, with more than 70 outlets in the UK.

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