Flight Centre’s European corporate travel business just got bigger with another acquisition

Swedish music band ABBA’s wax figures at the ABBA museum in Stockholm, Sweden. Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP/Getty Images

Australia’s Flight Centre Travel Group has expanded to Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland and Germany through a deal to acquire corporate businesses owned by European online travel agency eDreams ODIGEO.

Today’s acquisition follows the company’s expansion into Ireland in 2014 and the Netherlands in March this year. Flight Centre also acquired corporate travel businesses in Malaysia, Hong Kong and Mexico during in the 2016 financial year.

The cost of the acquisition hasn’t been revealed. The company says the deal will be cash-funded and is expected to be formally completed late in the first half of the 2017 financial year.

“Corporate travel is one of our six key growth sectors for the medium to long-term,” says co-founder and managing director Graham Turner.

He says the company is one of the world’s largest corporate travel managers with turnover of more than $6 billion in 2016.

“While these new additions to our network are relatively small, they are profitable and give Flight Centre a company-owned presence in five key corporate travel markets within Europe, along with a platform for further corporate travel expansion,” he says.

As part of the acquisition, the company has also secured a proprietary online booking tool, which can potentially be rolled out within the SME-focussed Corporate Traveller and Flight Centre Business Travel brands elsewhere in Europe.

The company’s European division is the company’s largest profit contributor outside Australia and the third largest region by sales behind Australia and the US.

Flight Centre posted a 4.7% drop in profit to $244.6 million for the 2016 year. However, the result was still the company’s third best profit in a challenging trading climate. Revenue was up 11.2% to $2.7 billion.