Webjet (WEB) shares rebounded 6% yesterday after revealing a 26% jump in first-half earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation to $18.2 million.
Net earnings were up a slightly more sedate 17.2% to $10.7 million for the six months to December. The company also lifted its interim dividend by a quarter of a cent to 6.5 cents a share.
The shares jumped 9.5% to $5.71, with the wider market soaring 2.2% in a big day of trading. Total transaction value jumped 28% to $796 million, while revenue rose an impressive 26.8% to $73.8 million.
Webjet managing director John Guscic said all of the company’s businesses had grown market share in the first half. "We continue to see an acceleration of bookings shifting online in our [consumer] division and our planned investment growth strategy for the [business-to-business] division is currently underway and already delivering tangible results," he said.
Mr Guscic said those trends were continuing in the first part of the second half of the financial year, leading to a further rise in total transaction value to record levels. "As it is still early in [the second half], our full year market guidance of $33.5m EBITDA remains unchanged at this juncture," he said, although he added total transaction value growth was tracking 30 per cent higher than last year at this stage.
Mr Guscic said EBITDA from the business-to-business division, which offers hotels to travel agents, was expected to double to around $11 million in the 2016-17 financial year.