Monday 10 December 2018

Heatwave makes it a gloomy year for loss-making Sunway

Computer says no: Sunway Travel managing director Tanya Airey said issues with a new computer system hampered bookings
Computer says no: Sunway Travel managing director Tanya Airey said issues with a new computer system hampered bookings

Gordon Deegan

Ireland's summer's heatwave has made it a gloomy year for one of the country's best-known travel firms, Sunway Travel.

The MD of Sunway Travel, Tanya Airey, confirmed yesterday the company is on course to record losses in excess of the €458,976 pre-tax loss that was sustained last year.

Ms Airey blamed the heatwave here this summer, along with "huge teething problems" in the introduction of a new computer system, for the company for the losses.

Ms Airey said that the 'double whammy' of the heatwave and the computer system glitches has made it the worst  performing year for the company since it was established.

"The sun came out here and came out early and didn't go back in again. The hot summer was  not good for us," she said. "A lot of people just skipped going on sun holidays this summer".

She added the poor demand for sun breaks resulted in the company selling 30pc to 40pc of such holidays on flights booked late at a loss.

Ms Airey said the company was already trying to play catch-up as glitches in a newly-introduced computer system hampered bookings in traditionally the busiest month of the year, January.

Ms Airey blamed the impact of terrorism on the firm's €458,976 pre-tax losses last year.

The Turkish holiday market accounted for 30pc of the company's business before the terror attacks there in 2016 and 2017.

In response to the downturn, pay for the four directors at the firm was last year slashed by 70.5pc from €784,300 to €231,955.

Numbers employed at the company last year increased from 60 to 63 with staff costs, including directors' salaries, declining from €2.68m to €2.2m.  

At the end of October last, the company had shareholder funds of €2.5m. The company's cash totalled €7.3m.

Irish Independent

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