Bottom Line: Growth home and abroad means a sunny future for travel money

Marc Sidwell
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IT IS heartening to see more signs of the City’s IPO market building up a proper head of steam. Travelex would be a further coup.

The possibility of a float appears to be driven by Apax, the private equity owners of half the company, looking for the exit. But Travelex still has plenty of mileage left in its business model. Having sold two divisions in recent years – and being in the process of preparing its travellers’ cheques division for sale – Travelex is leaner and facing the changing world of foreign currency payments.

Travelex just inked an extension on its deal as foreign exchange provider at Heathrow for five more years from 2014, and it is growing in emerging markets too. In April, it took a 49 per cent holding in Brazil’s biggest non-bank retail forex provider.

The first half of 2013 showed income up 10.7 per cent year on year to £316.8m, and a like-for-like growth of five per cent. Importantly, online sales were up 25 per cent.

There may be troubles ahead. Newcomers like Transferwise want to lower forex transfer costs. But for now travel money’s future looks sunny.