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Cox & Kings
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« Mar 13
Chairman's Speech (Cox & Kings) Year : Mar '14
Dear Shareholders,
 
 The financial year 2013-14 was another significant year in our journey
 toward making Cox & Kings a truly preferred global brand. Despite
 continued weakness in the global economic environment our resolute
 focus on core business helped us to post above expectation topline and
 bottom-line growth.
 
 The global economic growth environment during the year 2013 remained
 challenging and impacted the growth of Travel &Tourism industry in
 general. In these turbulent times, our clearly defined strategic
 roadmap helped us to stay on track and also to invest in our core
 business. Through a unique combination of vigor and craftsmanship, our
 management has developed a distinctive portfolio that provides an
 optimal mix of growth and stability to our business model. While our
 education brands bring huge amount of stability and revenue visibility
 to the business, our leisure business help us tap the improving
 economic outlook of our key focused markets. The growing discretionary
 spending along with changing lifestyle and demographic shift in India
 would allow us to not only tap the growing leisure & corporate travel
 demand but also to bring many of Holidaybreak''s established education
 brands to aspirational Indians.
 
 During the year, we continued to invest in our future. We increased our
 stake in Meininger to 100%. Meininger also opened its newest 720 bed
 hotel in Brussels. We have an aggressive expansion plan ahead, entering
 into newer European cities with high student & youth traveldemand.We
 have already signed up for another 3 hotels (Amsterdam, Berlin and
 Barcelona) totaling to about 2,300 beds, which is expected to come on
 stream in the coming years. We continued to invest in our core brands
 and took our key education brand PGL to Australia. More recently, in
 line with our strategic plan, we sold our non-core Camping business,
 which would help us to significantly scale down our debt and also free
 up considerable capital and management''s bandwidth for the core
 business.
 
 The growth in both our key focus markets is turning around and is
 expected to pick up during the year. India''s highly fragmented travel
 market is undergoing rapid transformation where the share of organized
 players is fast increasing at the expense of unorganized players.This
 over the last few years, has helped us to fast expand our presence in
 the fast growing Tier 2 and Tier 3 Indian cities. The changing Indian
 lifestyle along with their growing income and demographic shift make us
 feel confident of our long-term growth prospects in the country.
 
 The new Indian government at the center has clearly highlighted its
 focus to expand travel and tourism. Government''s plan to invest
 significantly in the sector along with other infrastructural support
 such as reduction in the visa application time and electronic travel
 authorization can significantly enhance the flow of new global visitors
 to the country.
 
 As we enter into an even more exciting growth phase of our journey, I
 would like to thank each of our employees, customers, shareholders,
 bankers, business partners and stakeholders for their faith and
 confidence in the Company and look forward to their continued support
 in all our endeavors.
 
 Warm Regards,
 
 Mr. A.B.M. Good
 Chairman
Source : Dion Global Solutions Limited
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