Seera Group, the leading provider of diverse travel and tourism services in the Middle East, has returned to profit in Q3 2022, reporting the company’s first post-pandemic operating profit of SAR 30 million, with a total revenue of SAR 565 million. The group generated a net profit after zakat (before non-controlling interest) of SAR 54 million.
Seera Group has continued its trajectory of growth, driven by demand for inbound, outbound and domestic tourism. Seera’s gross booking value (GBV) has increased by 93% for the third quarter of 2022 to SAR 2.7 billion compared to SAR 1.4 billion in Q3 2021, bringing the total GBV for the first nine months of 2022 to SAR 6.8 billion, a 100% increase compared to SAR 3.4 billion for the same period in 2021. The group has seen an increase in revenue of 53% to SAR 565 million from SAR 369 in Q3 2021.
Almosafer, Seera’s travel platform which operates the consumer and business travel segments as well as the destination management company, Discover Saudi, and the Hajj and Umrah tour operator, Mawasim, has achieved 100% growth in GBV to SAR 1.8 billion in Q3 2022, up from SAR 0.9 billion in Q3 2021. Almosafer’s revenue has increased by 74% to SAR 155 million in Q3 2022, up from SAR 89 million.
The travel platform’s largest segment, consumer travel, surpassed its own record-high levels of gross booking value and revenue from the previous quarter. The segment has recorded a 167% increase in GBV to SAR 1.2 billion in Q3 2022, compared to SAR 0.45 billion in Q3 2021, and a 135% increase in revenue to SAR 84.5 million in Q3 2022, up from SAR 36 million in the same period of 2021.The consumer travel segment’s growth was fuelled by the unwavering appetite for leisure travel following the removal of nearly all pandemic travel restrictions in many countries across the world. Travellers from Saudi Arabia are eagerly returning to longstanding favourite destinations including London, Paris, Dubai, Cairo and Sharm El Sheikh while emerging destinations such as Thailand and Türkiye are rapidly growing in popularity following the easing of entry requirements.
Capitalising on the pent-up demand for travel, the consumer travel segment has signed strategic partnerships with international travel boards, including the Tourism Authority of Thailand, to boost travel and tourism to these destinations while further strengthening its wide range of products and services on its platform.
The corporate and government travel segment, Almosafer Business, reported a GBV of SAR 559 million in Q3 2022, an increase of 24% compared to SAR 452 million in Q3 2021, and a revenue of SAR 32 million in Q3 2022. The growth is attributed to the successful renewal of existing contracts and onboarding of new corporate, government and semi-government clients driven by the segment’s focus on digitising travel management in Saudi Arabia, enabling clients to seamlessly manage their travel requirements through Almosafer Business’ online portal.
The Hajj and Umrah tour operator, Mawasim, reported a revenue of SAR 13 million for Q3 2022, a significant increase from Q3 2021. The growth follows the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah’s announcement earlier this year that permitted people with tourist visas to perform Umrah during their visit to the country, simplifying the visa process and easing access for pilgrims.
The destination management company, Discover Saudi, recorded a GBV of SAR 26 million in Q3 2022, an increase of 44% compared to Q3 2021. Discover Saudi’s growth has been boosted by MICE with the rise in the number of events and conferences taking place in the Kingdom. The growth is further driven by increased interest in Saudi Arabia as a tourist destination, with travellers eager to experience the many cultural, historic and natural attractions in the Kingdom.
Seera’s car rental business, Lumi, has continued on its strong trajectory of growth, achieving a 35% growth in revenue to SAR 188 million in Q3 2022 compared to SAR 139 million in Q3 2021. Lumi’s continued strength in the leasing business serving the private and public sectors and its vast network of branches and digital channels has fuelled the company’s growth. The launch of Lumi’s first used car showroom has further diversified the company’s offering while enabling the company to maintain a young fleet.
Seera’s hospitality business recorded a revenue of SAR 27 million representing a 350% growth in Q3 2022 compared to the same quarter in 2021, driven by the ramp up of the unit’s newly opened Choice Hotels in Jeddah, and increased demand from religious pilgrims for its Makkah properties.
Seera’s corporate ventures unit posted a GBV of SAR 601 million Q3 2022, a growth of 86% compared to Q3 2021, and a revenue of SAR 201 million, with Seera’s largest investment Portman Travel Group (based in the UK) being a key contributor to growth.
Majed Alnefaie, CEO at Seera Group, said: "Seera’s return to profit following the challenges of the pandemic illustrates the incredible recovery of travel and our strategic positioning to capitalise on the pent-up demand. We are committed to further growing our businesses to serve the travel and tourism needs of the Kingdom and drive forward sustainable long term profitability of the Group."