Thrifty business jet-setters dent Hogg Robinson

Marion Dakers
HOGG Robinson shares fell five per cent yesterday after the corporate travel services group posted falling revenues and earnings.

The FTSE Small Cap-listed firm said turnover fell 10 per cent to £168.9m for the six months to the end of September, while underlying pre-tax profits declined seven per cent to £17.3m.

The group blamed currency movements for some of the drop, as well as the gloomy economic backdrop.

“Corporates are understandably cautious in their approach to travel but our proven ability to help our clients achieve best value from their travel budgets is reflected in our ongoing strong client retention rate,” said chief executive David Radcliffe.

The firm said its clients were choosing cheaper travel options through its service, though this was mitigated by new mandates from the Finnish government, Pirelli and Bayer.

Net debt jumped 46 per cent to £100.5m, in a period that saw Hogg Robinson make two acquisitions.