Sunway Travel profits rebound in 2014

Lorna Carty was one of three Irish tourists holidaymakers killed in a terrorist attack in Tunisia in June.

The commercial fortunes of the Irish travel firm at the centre of the Tunisia terror atrocity earlier this year rebounded to record pre-tax profits of almost €700,000 in 2014.

In June, three Irish clients of Sunway Travel — Meath woman Lorna Carty and Athlone couple Laurence and Martina Hayes — were gunned down, along with 35 other holiday makers, at the holiday resort of Sousse in Tunisia.

As a result, the Dublin-based firm cancelled its Tunisia holiday programme.

Sunway Travel managing director Tanya Airey said yesterday the firm would love to re-introduce its Tunisia holiday programme, but would not be doing so until the Department of Foreign Affairs changes its travel advice. The department is currently advising against non-essential travel to Tunisia.

Ms Airey said the attack was “a horrific situation. It was very upsetting”.

She was commenting on new accounts filed for Sunway Travel showing it has swung back into profit. The firm last year recorded pre-tax profits of €693,943 after it posted a pre-tax loss of €645,292 in 2013.

Ms Airey said pre-tax losses of €645,292 in 2013 were almost entirely down to the good summer weather in 2013.

She said: “It is not that we couldn’t give sun holidays away in the summer of 2013, but we had to sell them at a very low price. It is a high risk business and you have your ups and downs.”

Ms Airey said the first six months of 2013 were good before the great summer weather arrived.

Last year, the Sunway business rebounded with revenues increasing by 23% from €29.6m to €36.5m.

Ms Airey said: “We had decent summer weather here in 2014 but because people didn’t get away in 2013, they were eager to get away again.”

She said cancelling the Tunisia programme will have a commercial impact this year but that, overall, the firm’s summer business was financially positive.

Numbers employed by the firm last year increased from 37 to 56. Staff costs last year totalled €2.2m. Accumulated profits last year totalled €2.7m, while it had a cash pile of €5.68m.


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