Switzerland’s largest travel group Kuoni saw its net profit dwindle to SFr1.6 million ($1.51 million) in 2009 compared with SFr151 million the year before.
Turnover fell by 19.8 per cent to SFr3.89 billion in results posted on Tuesday. The group said business was adversely affected by the global economic crisis, repercussions from the swine flu pandemic and substantial losses due to currency movements.
While travel bookings for 2010 showed a slight but steady improvement on the same time last year, as in the past year people were still tending to book travel at shorter notice.
“The brighter consumer mood and the stronger desire for holidays abroad should give us higher booking levels for 2010 than we had in 2009 and we expect this to be particularly the case in the latter half of the year,” said CEO Peter Rothwell.
The group’s chief financial officer, Max Katz, also announced that he would be retiring at the end of 2010 after 15 years in the post.
The group said operations have been focused on marketing and sales since it launched a three-year investment and cost-reduction programme in 2009.
swissinfo.ch and agencies