BARRHEAD Travel’s profits fell sharply last year, amid significant investment and changes to credit-card rules, but revenues rose by 6.6 per cent to £320 million.

Jacqueline Dobson, who was appointed as president of Barrhead Travel in January in the wake of the Glasgow-based company’s acquisition by North American-based Travel Leaders Group last year, described the rise in sales as a “healthy, positive performance ahead of the market”.

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Barrhead Travel, which employs more than 1,000 people, said it had started the year with forward bookings for 2019 up 7% year-on-year.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation dropped to around £1m last year, from £2.9m in 2017.

Barrhead Travel said it had “invested back into the business with three new branches, website and technology upgrades as well as accelerated training for over 800 employees”.

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It also cited the impact, “in line with the rest of the travel industry”, of European Union changes in credit-card regulations. These changes mean that consumers can no longer be charged specifically for paying by credit card.

Ms Dobson declared: “I am delighted our revenues continue to grow.”

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Commenting on Thomas Cook’s collapse a week ago, she said: “The news about Thomas Cook’s collapse was really sad – especially for all their employees and for those whose holidays have been impacted. Our team have been working round the clock since 2am [last] Monday morning to make alternative arrangements for our customers.”