Webjet shares are surging after a huge lift in revenue

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Webjet shares jumped after the company posted half year results showing a 290% rise in revenue to $359.8 million, due in part to the travel agent leveraging its technology platform.

A short time ago, the shares were up 16.9% to $12.10.

Profit from continuing operations was up 25% to $20 million.

The total transaction value was up 55% to $1.44 billion and the company expect trading for the second half to be stronger than the first six months.

The company says its flight bookings are outperforming the market by more than four times.

“Ongoing investment in our technology platform is driving improved visitations and conversions,” says John Guscic, Webjet’s Managing Director.

“We are also seeing the impact of significant growth in various higher margin ancillary products.

“We continue to see significant opportunities in the B2B market. The Asian market is the fastest growing B2B region in the world and we want to reach scale as quickly as possible.

“This means we are investing further in Asia during this financial year, with expected investment of $3.4 million for the year. We expect Asia to be profitable from FY19 and beyond.”

The company says its WebBeds business, providing hotel beds to global partners, is currently the fastest growing B2B player in the world.

Revenue for WebBeds was up 170.5% to $49.4 million.

The company declared a dividend of eight cents a share.

Webjet last week announced a blockchain initiative, Rezchain, to make secure hotel bookings.

The company has spent two years developing the blockchain-based solution to eliminate the pain of reconciling accounts payable and accounts receivable, and the inevitable disputed bookings.

Industry estimates assume that 3% to 5% of bookings are disputed in some form. These disputes can take months to resolve.

Blockchain uses computers with advanced encryption to keep track of transactions, giving confidence to both buyers and sellers. Transactions of the cryptocurrency Bitcoin are tracked using blockchain.

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