ITC eyes rivals as revenues jump 13%
Aug 29, 2017 11:10AM

Luxury group the Inspiring Travel Company is reported to be in talks to buy two rivals as part of expansion plans following a boost in profits.

The Cheshire-based operator, which recently featured in the BBC2 documentary The Millionaires’ Holiday Club, is seeking to take advantage of growing demand among affluent travellers for luxury bespoke trips.

ITC, which has previously run charter flights on Concorde, has been growing steadily, with revenues in the year to April up by 13% to £92 million. Profits were £4.3 million, up from £3.9 million.

The company was backed by NorthEdge Capital a year ago. The mid-market private equity firm acquired a majority stake and backed the management team which is led by Jennifer Atkinson.

She said the unnamed acquisition targets were part of a planned expansion, with sights set on the ski and villas sectors.

“We have developed a strong and loyal customer base who repeatedly turn to us to create experiences in some of the world’s most exclusive destinations,” Atkinson said.

“Much of the growth has been down to the hard work of our travel specialists who have the passion and enthusiasm to make sure that every client’s holiday is the best it can possibly be.

“Partnering with NorthEdge has enabled us to remain focussed on our core business strategy of providing luxury holidays.

“The firm’s ongoing support will be invaluable as we look to identify further strategic acquisitions and explore new markets including ski holidays and luxury villas. I am confident that the year ahead will be just as strong and we’re excited about further growth.”

The business, which employs 65 travel specialists, completed 12,000 bookings in the last financial year. It also operates a number of other sister brands including Western & Oriental, Rainbow Tours, Villa Select, Regent Holidays, ITC Sports Travel and Horse Racing Abroad.

Phil Frame, investment director at NorthEdge Capital and non-executive director at the ITC, said: “Jen and the rest of the management team have done a fantastic job in carving out a niche at the top end of the luxury travel market.

“The business has performed well despite uncertainty surrounding Brexit and poor exchange rates, so we look forward to strengthening the offer even further as market conditions become more favourable.”

ITC customers spend an average of £15,000 per holiday and favour the Caribbean. The firm’s largest booking last year saw a family spend £300,000 on a bespoke holiday.

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