As a provider of travel to key sporting events across the globe, Gloucester-based Mike Burton Travel is used to the peaks and troughs in its accounts dealt by Olympic cycles and biannual sporting fixtures.
In 2016, turnover was £27.4 million; in 2017 it was £7.2 million; in 2018 it reached £35 million, with a drop back down in 2019 to £8.3 million; before reaching a peak of £37.8 million in 2020 – but last year, the Covid-19 pandemic took financial graph pattern to a new extreme.
The business, which has had a long-standing relationship with Gloucester Rugby and is England Rugby’s official travel company, recorded a dramatic low for the year ending March 2021.
‘Turnover for the year decreased from £37,841,633 to £630,004. This reflects the impact of the disrupted, postponed and cancelled sporting events, in particular the postponed Tokyo Olympics and disruptions to the Six Nations rugby tournament in March,’ said Mike Burton Travel’s chief commercial officer Justin Hopwood.
During the previous year the company operated supporter travel programmes to the Rugby World Cup to Japan and the Cricket World Cup in the UK.
However, its balance sheet also shows genuine reason for optimism in the form of forward bookings for the British and Irish Lions Tour to South African in summer 2021 and Rugby World Cup 2023.
‘The company is now entering a recovery period of trading that the directors are confident will ensure the company is successful for the foreseeable future,’ said Hopwood.
By Andrew Merrell