Restructuring plans put Travelzest back in black

SPECIALIST tour operator Travelzest yesterday said its restructuring plans had improved profits, over a tumultuous year that saw it lose chief executive Chris Mottershead after wrongly suggesting he had misappropriated company funds.

Travelzest said its pre-tax loss narrowed to just £0.042m from £3.59m last year, while it moved into the black on an operating profit measure, which increased to £1.3m for the year to the end of October.

The improved figures came after the group substantially reorganised its operational structure and reviewed its financing arrangements, raising £5.7m of equity through a capital restructuring and renegotiating its debt facility to allow greater flexibility.

Travelzest, which operates specialist tour brands including Best of Morocco and Captivating Cuba, said a drop in passenger volumes caused its UK revenues to drop to £21.4m from £28m last year, though this was partially offset by its Canadian operations, which increased revenue by 3.7 per cent to £17m.

Total group revenue for the year fell by 13.5 per cent to £38.35m.

Jonathan Carroll is now leading the firm, after an inquiry into possible misappropriation of company funds last year found no evidence of wrongdoing by Mottershead.