TORONTO — Intrepid Group is reporting its third consecutive year of record growth including a 29% uptick in its North American markets.
The multi-brand company announced 17% growth in revenue globally to take the Group to AUD$397 million (about Cdn$379 million) in 2018.
Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) came in just shy of $15 million in 2018 with a 25% increase in underlying profitability.
Intrepid Group CEO James Thornton says he believes the company’s profit growth is driven by an increasing global demand for sustainable travel and the company’s commitment to having a ‘Purpose Beyond Profit.’
Intrepid Group has more than 2,700 trips in 120 countries operated by the Group’s four tour operator brands (Intrepid Travel, Peregrine Adventures, Urban Adventures, Adventure Tours Australia) and is now the world’s largest provider of adventure travel experiences, adds Thornton.
The vertically integrated business also includes a global network of local destination management companies, as well as several suppliers which Intrepid Group has a stake in, such as Chimu Adventures. In December, Intrepid Group announced that it will become a seven-continent operator with the launch of a range of charters in Antarctica in partnership with Chimu.
Thornton says this diversification has helped to protect the Group from the highs and lows of world events.
“Over the past 30 years we’ve seen many of our favorite places suffer through the lows of natural disasters and we’ve learned how important it is to diversify not only where we go, but also our brands, products and sales regions so that we can cater to all ages, budgets and appetites for adventure,” he says.
Last year also saw 60% growth in customer numbers from Urban Adventures and the opening of PEAK DMC Indonesia, the company’s 21st destination management company, he adds.
Intrepid Group employs 1,800 staff and leaders in more than 40 offices around the world, with company headquarters in Melbourne. Almost a quarter of the company’s 2018 profits will be paid out to staff in bonuses.
In 2018 Intrepid Group also achieved B Corp certification, joining a growing global community of businesses looking beyond the bottom line. Meanwhile The Intrepid Foundation also marked a record year in 2017, raising AUD$1 million (about Cdn$960,000) for local and international charities.
Intrepid Group is also reporting a record Employee Engagement score of 82% and a record customer feedback score of 4.7 out of 5 for the year.
“This year we celebrate Intrepid’s 30-year anniversary and it’s fantastic to be achieving this level of growth. We’re as committed to sustainable travel as we were in the beginning, so the truly inspiring thing for everyone here at Intrepid is just to see that the more we grow, the more we can do. Customers really are looking for businesses to be a force for good.”