Saudi's Seera Mounts Comeback to Report Operating Profit for 2022
Driven by the resurgence in demand for travel, Saudi Arabia-based travel services provider Seera Group reported its first yearly post-pandemic operating profit of $800,000 in 2022, compared to a loss of $76 million in 2021. This return to profit for the group for the year was mostly bolstered by Seera’s financial results for the third quarter in which the group had reported a post-pandemic operating profit of $8 million. In 2022, the group generated gross booking value of $2.5 billion, a 94 percent growth relative to the $1.3 billion recorded in 2021. Almosafer, Seera’s travel platform, which operates the consumer and business travel business lines, as well as the destination management company Discover Saudi and Hajj and Umrah tour operator Mawasim, achieved around 74 percent growth in gross booking value to $1.6 billion in 2022 compared to 2021. Almosafer noted that travel demand in 2022 surged across inbound, outbound and domestic tourism and at times, exceeded 2019 levels. With the full reopening of travel in 2022, the company noted that Almosafer’s consumer travel business saw an unprecedented surge in bookings, which led to an aggressive demand capture ahead of a full-blown travel season in 2022. Fueled by the unwavering appetite for leisure travel following the removal of nearly all pandemic travel restrictions in many countries across the world, Almosafer’s consumer business saw 2022 booking volumes exceed pre-pandemic levels. With an average of 35 percent share of booking volume, domestic tourism continued to be an important contributor to the success of the company’s consumer business. Seera also observed that the digital adoption rate for its travel management portal reached 40 percent in 2022 as companies made bookings through Almosafer Business’ digital portal. Seera continues to expand the group’s hospitality footprint nationwide, primarily in the mid-market and upper mid-market segments. Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund has also acquired a 30 percent stake in Almosafer for $412 million.