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Combination of measures made Thomas Cook to save about Rs 3.7 bn costs

IANS | May 19, 2023 02:47 PM

CHENNAI: A combination of measures like reducing branch network, integrating backend work, downsizing and digitalisation has resulted in travel major Thomas Cook (India) Ltd to log a cost savings of about Rs 3.71 billion in FY23, said a senior official.

According to him, the cost savings will go up further and add to the bottomline once there is 100 per cent recovery in business that was affected by the Covid pandemic.

While a rupee saved is a rupee earned, Thomas Cook is also earning good revenue from the government business, which was not there before the Covid pandemic.

"During the pandemic when there was no business, we had to take a series of measures. The business in South East Asia was shut down as there was no business. The annual performance review was put on hold so was the salary hikes. Further with no business we had to let go of about 17-18 per cent of the workforce and automated their work by investing in technology, " Mahesh Iyer, CEO & Executive Director, told IANS.

Before the pandemic, Thomas Cook had about 3, 000 employees and during the Covid period the headcount was reduced by about 600 employees.

That apart, the backend operations of Thomas Cook and group company SOTC Travel Ltd were integrated eliminating duplication while the frontend operations were retained as the focus market for the two are different, Iyer added.

On the reduction in branch offices Iyer said people started using digital mode and hence the number of branch offices were brought down to 80 from 140 in pre-pandemic. With the business picking up, the number of offices has gone up to 102, Iyer said.

"The investment in technology was about $2 million, " Iyer said.

The company has achieved a 20 per cent reduction in costs as compared to FY20, pre-pandemic.

Speaking about business, Iyer said the company expects full recovery from Covid impact in FY24 and the focus is on domestic tourism from Tier2/3 markets.

The visa problem is there for tourists to Europe and the US which is expected to be sorted out soon. The company is now offering packages for Eastern Europe, Iyer said.

He said the downturn in the Europe and the US economy is not affecting inbound travel as the tourists belong to a segment where they have to save to travel.

According to Iyer, the business from the government for the company is about 14-15 per cent.

Last year the company managed 23 events relating to the G20 Summit in India and 20, 500 customers for Khelo India.

The company closed FY23 with a consolidated revenue of about Rs 5, 111 crore and a net profit of Rs 6.46 crore.

The Board of Directors have recommended a dividend of Rs.0.40 (Rupees Forty paise only) per Equity Share of Re 1/- each for the financial year ended March 31, 2023.

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