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Helloworld sailing into better times

Helloworld Travel has extended gains this week with several key announcements boosting the already excited industry sentiment. The multi-service operator added 8% on Tuesday taking the company's share price to more than 60% higher for the month.

Helloworld entered into an agreement to acquire cruise wholesaling specialist, CruiseCo, a specialist package wholesaler founded 20 years ago. Prior to the onset of COVID-19, the business had annual transaction volumes of circa $70 million from its member agents throughout Australia.

The acquisition aligns with HLO’s strategy of expanding its cruise offerings in Australia and New Zealand and the business is complementary to the company’s existing cruise wholesale business, Seven Oceans Cruising, which prior to COVID-19 had annualised TTV of circa $110 million.

The acquisition will be funded from existing cash reserves and the purchase price is not considered material.

Executive Director, Cinzia Burnes, has noted several factors driving an optimistic outlook, including recent demand for some 2022 specials in the market, positive vaccine news and rapid testing capabilities. Helloworld is confident that demand for cruising will come back strongly from 2022.

HLO also announced it has renewed its partnership with Qantas with a new three-year commercial agreement to sell the national carrier’s fares and products until 2023. CEO and Managing Director, Andrew Burnes, commented that the long term agreement provides "commercial certainty for Helloworld and its agency networks and allows the business to take the lead with opportunities to sell Qantas products."

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