Carlson Wagonlit Travel’s 2013 Sales Declined on Sequestration Impact


Feb 19, 2014 10:00 am

Skift Take

CWT characterizes its 2013 financial performance as “strong,” but even excluding the impact of U.S. government sequestration the company’s sales volume and transactions were flat.

— Dennis Schaal

Free Report: The Megatrends Defining Travel in 2015

Elaine Thompson  / Associated Press

Federal government sequestration in 2013 reduced demand for business and government travel, and shuttered national parks. In this Jan. 7, 2012 file photo, Mount Rainier National Park Ranger Matt Chalup, left, hands park information to one of the first visitors to the park at the Nisqually entrance near Ashford, Wash. Elaine Thompson / Associated Press

Travel management company Carlson Wagonlit Travel registered a decline in sales in 2013 as the “variable global economic climate,” and federal government sequestration in the U.S. impacted financial results, the company said.

The privately held company, based in Amsterdam, reported that its sales in 2013 decreased 2.7% to $26.9 billion, and one of the big reasons was reduced demand for military and government travel, the company said.

Transaction volume fell 2.3% to 60.3 million, CWT said.

If you exclude military and government travel, then CWT’s sales volume would have increased a lackluster 0.3%, and the number of transactions would have edged up 0.4%.

The global travel management company didn’t provide a lot of detail on its operations in North America as it only reported that — excluding military and government transactions — CWT’s transactions in North America would have increased 0.9%.

CWT’s fastest-growing region in 2013 was Asia Pacific, where U.S. government sequestration wasn’t much of an issue. Asia Pacific transactions increased 4.5% year over year, bolstered by strong performances in China and Japan, the company said.

CWT’s meetings and events business also took a hit as it was adversely impacted by the economic climate in Europe, with clients reducing spending on events because of the weak economy. Revenue for CWT’s meetings and events decreased by just less than 1% in 2013, although the company organized 35,000 events globally for more than 1 million attendees.

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