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Japan-Update

Evolable Asia's online travel operating profit likely to rise 60%

Rewards program is key to retaining customers, cutting ad costs

TOKYO -- Evolable Asia's operating profit for its mainstay online travel business is expected to grow 60% on the year to 800 million yen ($6.81 million) in the year ending September 2017, thanks to a beefed-up rewards program that should help retain customers and cut marketing costs.

The Japanese company's AirTrip site, launched in November 2016, gives customers points worth 2% of their flight ticket purchase. While the internet travel agency already operated other sites like Soratabi.com, many users had landed on them by clicking on advertisements on search engines. Since the drop in marketing expenses is larger than the additional costs for the points program for the new site, the travel agency expects its profit margin to improve by 80%.

Thanks to growth in the online travel segment, Evolable Asia projects its group sales to grow 54% to 6.1 billion yen this fiscal year, with operating profit increasing 62% to 1 billion yen.

(Nikkei)

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