Leading tour operator reports losses

By Hung Le   February 4, 2020 | 01:57 am PT
Leading tour operator reports losses
Workers at a Vietravel agency in Hanoi. Photo courtesy of Vietravel.
Vietravel reported a VND14.1 billion ($606,000) loss in the last quarter of 2019 largely due to rising financial costs.

Its profit margin slipped in the final quarter, with sales rising by 9.13 percent to VND1.45 trillion ($62.33 million) but cost of goods sold increasing by 10.48 percent to VND1.35 trillion ($58.03 million), according to the company’s latest consolidated financial statement.

Vietravel’s revenues mainly came from selling tours, goods and tickets on flights it chartered. Q4 financial expenses topped VND26.66 billion ($1.15 million) after ballooning seven-fold year-on-year as the company obtained over VND160 billion ($6.89 million) in short-term loans from various banks.

Vietravel merely said the loans were to supplement operating capital without elaborating.  

The loss came after three profitable quarters, and in the same quarter of 2018 the company had made a post-tax profit of VND7.3 billion ($313,800).

Consolidated revenues for full-year 2019 came to VND7.26 trillion ($312 million), up 0.28 percent year-on-year, while post-tax profits fell 32 percent to VND39.93 billion ($1.72 million).

It applied for a license for setting up an airline last year, and said it plans to launch its first flight late this year using either the narrow-body Airbus A321neo or Boeing 737.

In the last two years it operated around 300 charter flights a year, both domestically and internationally.

If licensed, Vietravel Airlines will enter a fiercely competitive aviation market which already has six players: Vietnam Airlines, Vietjet, Jetstar Pacific, Vietnam Air Services Company (VASCO), Bamboo Airways, and newly-licensed military-run carrier Vietstar Airlines, the last two making their debut last year.

Analysts have forecast 2020 to be a difficult year for tourism companies with the outbreak of the new deadly nCoV pneumonia virus, which has caused Vietnamese airlines to suspend most flights to China.

The arrival of Chinese tourists, who accounted for 32 percent of all visitors to Vietnam last year, is also expected to fall sharply.

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