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Hays Travel increases sales beyond £1bn

Turnover at Sunderland-headquartered Hays Travel has soared by more than £42m, as the total value of holidays and tours sold in its shops exceeded the £1bn milestone for the first time.

Founded in 1980 as a single travel agency in Seaham, County Durham, the company is now the UK's largest independent travel agency, now operating a network of more than 130 retail outlets.

The company also operates the Independence Group, a 253-strong network of independent travel agents located across the UK.

Group turnover climbed 12 per cent to £379.8m for the year ending 31 October 2018.

Total transaction value – the amount receivable from the sales of holidays, tours, foreign exchange and other services – was up by over £100m to £1.037bn.

Pre-tax profit edged up marginally to £10.1m.

To acknowledge surpassing the £1bn mark, the group's 1,500-plus staff were awarded a "thank you" bonus in May 2018, receiving £100 for every year of service.

A statement from chair Irene Hays said the initiative cost the group just under £570,000.

A further cost of £128,000 was incurred when the company purchased Gilbridge House in Sunderland city centre, with the refurbished property set to become the new Hays headquarters later this year.

Last week, the company was recognised as one of the UK's top workplaces as it retained its spot in the Sunday Times Best 100 Companies to Work For list.  

Retail and training director, Jane Schumm, added: "I think our success over the past year has been down to a combination of factors, including consistently strong growth across the entire business and an increase in homeworkers and shop openings.

"I am absolutely delighted that we have been named as one of the Sunday Times’ Best Companies to Work For in the UK for another year.

"The company would be nothing without its amazing team, so I am thrilled that we are recognised as having a happy and motivated workforce."