Flight Centre shares are going nuts

A game of fire football, known as bola api. A coconut is soaked in kerosene and set on fire during celebrations of Indonesia’s National Independence Day in Yogyakarta. Ulet Ifansasti/Getty Images

Record sales and strong profits. Flight Centre, the travel booking agents, just posted the fifth consecutive year of record results.

Revenue grew 6.8% to $2.4 billion in 2015 and statutory profit was up 13.1% to $366.3 million.

Sales staff numbers increased 6.3% to 14,433 and shop and business numbers increased 5.5% to 2,825.

Underlying profit of $363.7 million, down 3.4%, was the second best result in company’s history but it was lower than initially expected and adversely impacted by a market slowdown in Australia.

Managing director Graham Turner says the company performed well in several key regions, including the US and UK.

“While this record sales result in Australia didn’t translate to a record profit, the Australian business generated more than $250 million in EBIT for the third consecutive year and was again the company’s main profit and sales generator,” he says.

The company sees solid growth prospects for the current financial year.

The 2016 year target is for underlying profit between $380 million and $395 million, or growth of 4% to 8%.

So far this year consumer confidence in Australia remains relatively subdued.

“But we are seeing positive momentum in leisure travel, with customer enquiry currently tracking above target and sales in key sectors continuing to grow,” says Turner.

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