Australian online travel agency Webjet plans to use a number of initiatives to grow its footprint in Australia and overseas after today reporting a pre-tax annual profit rise of 330 per cent.

The company today said it expected an unaudited net profit before tax in the band of $3.2 million to $3.4 million for the financial year ended June 30, 2006. Managing director David Clarke said the profit would reflect an increase of 330 per cent on last year's Australian-equivalent international financial reporting standards (AIFRS) adjusted profit of $700,000. "It demonstrates the economic success of Webjet's increasing market footprint, which has been progressively reported to the market in our total transaction values over the last four quarters, which have in turn, increased 122 per cent relative to the same period last year," Mr Clarke said.
"The results also demonstrate the potential leverage of Webjet's low cost base, tightly controlled marketing expenditure and deliberately focussed business plan."

Webjet said it had cash reserves of $23.1 million as at June 30, and that its debt free balance sheet, along with cash flow generation from trading activities would give it "significant flexibility moving forward."

Mr Clarke said Webjet would use a number of initiatives in the near future to plump up the travel agency's brand, both nationally and internationally.

"During the next six months, Webjet will be releasing a number of substantial marketing, product and unique customer servicing initiatives designed to further accelerate and extend our market footprint in both Australia and overseas," he said.

Webjet reported an annual net profit of $1.44 million in 2004-05, after struggling to carve out a successful business model since listing in 2000.
The company has staged the turnaround through the addition of special features on its website, such as the ability to search for the cheapest flights across Australia.