Evaluate the level of competition in the industry or industries that your company operates in using Porter’s Five Forces framework. Form a conclusion for each force and for the industry overall. That is, the level of competition is high, moderate or low.
Identify and discuss the key success factors and the key risks of the company’s strategy. Also evaluate the sustainability of profits generated by the strategy in the future.
In the age of globalization with the introduction of Science and Technology, every organization operating within their economy assess their performance concerning the industrial benchmark of the economy where the organizations operates (Kubasek, Brennan and Browne 2016). The study is concerned with the evaluation of the financial statement for Flight Centre Travel Group by taking in to the considerations the variable sources such as the yearly report of the organization to gather information for assessment. The fiscal report of the Flight Centre Travel Group will help in assessing the operations of the business. Flight Centre Travel Group has been found to be one of the most renowned airline service within the geographical regions of Australia. Flight Centre Travel Group is listed in the Australian stock exchange as one of the listed companies and operating in the airline industry.
As evident from the report, the company has been generating profit for the last few years after rising beyond the competition as the company was in the requirement of taking the business performance to the new level (Kew and Stredwick 2017). The yearly report of the company provides the information regarding the operations of the company. In addition to this, the use of numerous analytical techniques has been implemented in the present study that comprises of macroeconomic analysis, business strategy analysis, industry analysis and the accounting evaluation for Flight Centre Travel Group. The study even analyses the extent of competition faced by the company in the present travelling industry where theFlight Centre Travel Group operates.
Flight centre travel group‘s economic environment
Economic environment relates to the external factors that influences the workplace environment in the business. The economic objective of Flight centre travel group (FCTG) is to contribute the destination nation they work and stay. Economic environment is categorized into two parts such as – macro- environment and microenvironment. The success of this organization is determined with the help of these two types of economic environment (Woodford 2013). The management of the enterprise also ascertain that the benefits and disadvantage of tourism are evenly shared in their travel agency business. In addition, the economic environment of FCTG is also affected by the society’s economic health to which their business is connected.
This enterprise is one of the major stakeholders in overall society where their business operates and to the society where their customers like to travel. The management of the organizations mainly operates on those key sectors that facilitates them in giving information on the advisor’s economic liability and collecting resources in order to assists on the knowledge of their customers. They focus on conducting package-reviewing process that aspires in selecting their tour package that are beneficial for the Australian economy.
Analyzing how global economies affect the organizational performance over the years
Fluctuations in the global economies adversely affect the company’s growth over the last few years. As the recession in US hits the global economy, it negatively influenced the financial performance of many entities in the globe (Healy. and Palepu 2012) However, FCTG also suffered from enormous loss during the year 2008-2009 owing to decrease in number of both international and domestic tourist. The management of this firm strategized to fire few employees in order to cover up huge loss during this phase. As a result, Australia’s rate of unemployment increased above the target level , which is 5%. In additional, uncertainties and changing economic condition of the less developed nation’s also influences the travel agency business in Australia including FCTG. Moreover, changing visa policies of the individual nations affects the performance of this organization as well as growth of FCTG.
Macroeconomic variables affecting the performance of FCTG
The macroeconomic variables assess the cyclical movements and inclination of the respective economy (Trugman, 2016). These variables includes- GDP growth rate, inflation, prices of crude oil, unemployment rate, exchange rates, interest rates, money supply etc. Macroeconomic events and the economic health affects all the organizations of the economy. In this study, four factors are considered for analyzing the impact of economic environment of FCTG business that includes- GDP, Inflation, exchange rate, prices of crude oil.
The GDP of the economy is defined as the summation of its total consumption, investment, government spending and net exports (Sekaran and Bougie, 2016). It is one of the major factors that affect the business performance and determines the economic health of the country. GDP growth rate refers to the economic trend of the nation over the years. Owing to expansion of Australia’s GDP growth rate to 0.3% in 2017, the financial performance of FCTG improved. This is because cyclical fluctuations in the respective nation influence the credit demand. As recession hits Australian economy, the GDP growth rate declined and hence this reduced the economy’s credit demand. However, this adversely affected performance of FCTG in terms of revenue and profitability. after that phase the credit demand again increased leading to rise in profit of the company.
Inflation rate is another macroeconomic factor that largely influences the purchasing power and cost of business. High rate of inflation in the Australian economy during the recession period (2008-2009) reduced the purchasing power of the customers and this led to decline in aggregate demand in services (Goodwinet al. 2013). As a result, the business cost of this travel agency increased and this decreased their profitability level. However, during expansionary period, as the Australian recovered from huge financial crisis the inflation rate fell and this raised the purchasing power in the economy. Hence, this increased the travel demand of the customers leading to enhancement of financial performance of FCTG.
Volatility in Australia’s crude oil industry created huge risk to FCTG Company. As rise in inflation rate of Australia increased prices of crude oil, FCTG ‘s input cost also increased. This led to rise in airfares and hence the customers demand for travel automatically reduced during 2008-2009. Though Australian economy has recovered from recession phase, volatility in oil prices still exist in the economy. Hence, this factor often influences their organizational performance.
Foreign exchange rate fluctuation affects the customers spending in travel destination. In the current state, exchange rate depreciation raises the total demand for travel in the economy (Frechtling 2013). However, as the Australians spend their money in travel; this raised the profitability level of FCTG. Therefore, implementation of expansionary monetary policy stabilizes this currency fluctuation and thus lowering the risk in foreign exchange.
Future forecast of FCTG ‘s financial performance
Recent statistic reflects that the Australian economy has been progressing over the years. Therefore, if the GDP growth rates of this nation continuously increase, the credit demand in the economy will increase at higher rate. In addition, implementation of expansionary monetary policy will help keep the inflation rate low in the economy. As a result, the prices of commodities and services automatically lower and this will increase their purchasing power. Moreover, increase in consumers spending in travel will raise the revenue of travel companies in Australia including FCTG. On the contrary, oil prices volatility in Australia will always exist and this may create huge problems to this travel company (Borio 2014). In addition, changes in foreign exchange rate might influence their financial performance of FCTG in future. Therefore, it is recommended that the management of FCTG must focus on these economic environmental factors before making their business strategies. This will help the company to attain higher profitability and expand their business in the future.
Competition level of Flight Centre travel group in the operating areas and application of Porter’s five forces model
The competition level discussion has been done based on the external environment analysis for Flight Centre travel group in areas where it operates in travel industry across Australia (Flight Centre Travel Group Limited. 2017). The Porter’s five forces model has been depicted upon various factors related to external environment of the travel industry of Australia. The diagram below has been conducted based on Porter’s five force model which has been segregated into five broad headings namely threat from suppliers, threat from customers, bargaining power of suppliers, bargaining power of customers and competitive rivalry (Kim 2014).
Rivalry from existing competitors
The criteria for rivalry from the existing firm have been identified with the lower competition from the existing industry.
Lower risk from the rival firm-The travel industry of Australia has been depicted with low amount of risk from the competitors due to lower cost incurred. The competitors are able to maintain their inventory with the appropriate stock levels. The main rationale for this is due to low storage cost which is having a positive impact on the company’s dealing in travel business (Lloyd 2014).
Large Industry size- The travel industry of Australia seen to allow multiple firms for making an effort and having higher market share of other firms. Henceforth, a large group of market size is seen to create a positive impact on Flight Centre travel group. Due to the large nature of industry, multiple opportunities have been presented to the company which belongs to present and near future as well(Robinson et al. 2016).
The figure depicted above shows the industry segment performance for Flight Centre travel group for a time period of 2012 to 2015. The declining revenue in 2014 has depicted that Flight Centre travel group having low revenue which is not preferable and shows poor financial positioning.
Differentiation- It is vital to consider that travel industry in Australia has been able to actually differentiate them by having diverse product range. The segments have been further differentiated as per international visitor arrival, international visitor spending and international visitor snapshot(Rheem 2016).
Threat of new entrants
It is observed that travel industry’s threat of new entrants is considerably lower in Australia.
Implementation of advanced technologies- To prevent the entry of Flight Centre travel Group Company needs to implement advanced and innovative technologies so that it can face your competition. The existing competition in Australia needs to be first assessed and then addressed with use of those advanced technologies.
Economies of scale- this conducive for the travel industry to have economies of scale for lowering the cost. This is also required to produce the next best unit of output at a reduced rate.
Higher cost of production- It is vital to know the underlying facts related to new competitors trying to enter in the Australian travel industry. They will be definitely having an access to increased cost of production which runs parallel to the smaller economies of scale.
Skilled employees and human resources- Based on the analysis it has considered that the travel industry has mostly searched for the employees who are having low scale and do not have to pay higher remuneration towards their work. In this way the profit margin is kept substantially low from the other brand of companies. Henceforth, the changes are relevant to the macro economy which largely influences the major challenges in a similar industry.
Threat of substitute products
The travel industry of Australia is on to face lower threats from substitute products.
Switching cost- the customers find the service quality to be low when they are having a tendency to switch other brands. Flight Centre travel group needs to maintain its quality and make the same as a barrier to the new entrants and various types of substitute services.
Reduced quality of services- The Flight Centre travel group is seen to be having multiple number of substitutes and responsible for delivering lower service quality. However, the strategy is not applicable on the customers as they are more concerned about the service quality factor than any other concern.
Bargaining power of customers
Based on the industry analysis in Australia the bargaining power is of customers is seen to be medium. Some of the appropriate reason for justification has been enumerated below as follows:
Large customer base- The travel company in Australia seen to be having a large customer base where the customers medium bargaining power.
Price sensitive- the price sensitive nature of the customers for Flight Centre Travel Group has been seen to be mainly less sensitive as it believes in delivering the best quality at reasonable rates (Flight Centre Travel Group Limited. 2017). In addition to this, the customers mostly look forward to alignment of the social status. In case a company is aware that customers are only looking for quality, then the price increases automatically and this needs to be taken into consideration(Lok, Asano and Rhodes 2014).
Bargaining power of suppliers
The bargaining power faced by Australian travel industry is designed to be high. Some of the main reasons have been justified below as follows:
Intense competition- the travel company of Australia seen face a huge competition as a suppliers provide the best price various types of other players in the market.
Diversified distribution channel-Based on the analysis that diversify distribution channel has given rise to the high bargaining power from a single distributor and the travel industry based in Australia. This has been particularly seen to be the area where volume is critical to the suppliers who are regularly providing services to Flight Centre travel group.
Relies on high volume-It has been particularly noticed that the suppliers rely on high volume which lead to higher bargaining power. Moreover, the producers are not seen to be having the scope to cut down the negative profit(Robertson 2017).
Business Strategy Analysis:
Against the backyard of the noteworthy low airline, fares and lower confidence among the customers there are some of the nations that have gone past the TTV for the financial year of 2016 (Wetherly and Otter 2014). Along with this, the business strategy of Flight Centre Travel Group has been successful in attaining the revenue by around $350 million in the backdrop of profit for the third successive year in the history of operations of the company. It is noteworthy to denote that the business strategy of the business strategy of Flight Centre Travel Group has been successful in producing GPB of $1 billion sales. The strategy of business has of Flight Centre Travel Group has been designed in such a way that it provides the foundations of future growth by investing in the innovating system that helps in introducing the advantage of higher cost with improved productivity (Palepu, Healy and Peek 2013).
The business strategy of the Flight Centre Travel Group has been successful in improving the streams of revenue together with the new and unique sort of goods and services for appealing its customers (Wahlen, Baginski and Bradshaw 2014). It is worth mentioning that the business strategy of Flight Centre Travel Group has been successful in improving the overseas network with the help of rolling out the next generation stores and designs. The company has been successful in developing the new innovative consumer cantered initiatives that consists of the flexibility of workplace arrangement and programs that will help in increasing the ownership with the help of digital capabilities.
The business strategy of Flight Centre Travel Group has been successful in expanding the business level footprint particularly with the help of organic growth however, the company has also gained success with the help of key market of Aisa, Europe and America (Jenkins and Williamson 2015). The acquirement of Netherlands is considered as one of the business milestone for the Flight Central Travel Group because this has helped the company in entering in the markets of Europe that comprise of the largest business travel market. On the other hand, the acquisition of Malaysia has marked as the first international expansion in respect of the geographical territories for large number of years. The business has been performing successfully ever since the company has acquired the operations of the FLT with the objective of speedy growth in the noteworthy student and youth age group in terms of both domestically and internationally.
Customer Centric Business approach:
A customer forms the important element for any kind of business. The business strategy of Flight Centre Travel Group has been successful in holding its workforce in discharge of the valuable service to achieve its business functions (Batkovsky, Batkovsky and Klochkov 2016). Simultaneously, accordingly the business strategy of Flight Centre Travel Group represents that the organization makes a huge investment by continuously investing in the areas of professional learning and development by providing adequate amenities.
Growth in Network:
The business strategy of Flight Centre Travel Group has been successful in expanding the network of the business with the help of strategic acquisition as this has helped in diversifying the sales of the organization. The company has introduced the model of BYOjet that represents an online business which specializes itself in the ultra-low cost airfares. It is worth mentioning that the corporate travel of the Flight Centre Travel Group has become an integral part of the business because they have become an international travel solution network (Hill, Jones and Schilling 2014). Along with this, several brands have significantly attained the growth with the assistance of FX specialist travel business and niche corporate brands have immensely contributed to the growth of the business.
Flight Centre Travel Group has also posted a successful solid sales and growth in attendance at its network wide expo program and in several vital markets of Australia (Drnevich and Croson 2013). Despite the prevalence of trading climate Flight Centre Travel Group has been successful in presenting a robust corporate performance which generally helps the company in transforming the business structure with the help of international expansion. Furthermore, obtaining the presence of continental Europe with the assistance of FCM Netherlands acquisition the company has been able to recently grew in the international market after the launch of the leisure store in the Dawson Street of Dublin.
The results obtained from the segmented growth in Mexico, TTV has helped the company in modestly introducing the FX business in the markets of America, and presently the company has two new outlets in Manhattan (Mishra and Zachary 2014). The segmented results have attained a successful business strategy since the segment of South Africa have posted a positive growth and profit from the higher sales. The annual reports of the company states that it has for the first time topped the revenue growth. On the other hand, segments of New Zealand and Canada have contributed for the very first time with a sum of $AU 1billion in TTV. The segment of Canada have immensely contributed to the growth in profit by demonstrating the positive outcomes of corporate level and closing down the loss making leisure in the late fiscal year of 2015.
Taking into the consideration the risk that is associated with the profit making structure of the business is the increase in the cost of oil and gas segment that have created a noteworthy impact on the performance of the business (Pettersson and Sorensen 2016). The is considered as the major threat to the company’s performance as because the corporate demand of the travel has been significantly impacted by the loss of some regional corporate accounts, investment in new and rising businesses have provided lower sum of yield profits in India. In addition to this, the leisure liberty and GOGO segments of the company have led to bottom line results and have been unsuccessful in meeting the anticipations of the business (Wild and Staden 2013). This is considerably in the decline of the $24.7 million with a write down of $12.0 million in USA segment and $12.7 million in the other segment.
To improve the business performance Flight Centre Travel Group has provided the customers with the opportunity of booking through online to LCC airfares and ancillary products that have ultimately helped in delivering the streams of revenue (Raubenheimer and Stammen 2013). Flight Centre Travel Group is looking forward to expand the leisure of travel brands together with the standalone branch to produce new streams of revenue. To improve the performance of the organization, Flight Centre Travel Group has targeted to increase the sales of leisure as the mark of business expansion by focussing on the package holidays for gaining growth in the markets of Australia.
There are six different stages in the model of accounting analysis and each one of them are analysed briefly with respect to Flight Centre Travel Group. Each one of them are discussed as follows:
Recognition of the principal accounting policies
With respect to the annual report of Flight Centre Travel Group, the financial statement has been constructed in accordance with the Australian Accounting Standards and the explanation disclosed by the Corporations Act 2001 and the Australian Accounting Standards Board. The company has implemented AASB 9 from 1st January 2016 for facilitating the hedge accounting process in their Flight Centre Global Product operations (Flight Centre Travel Group Limited 2017). Furthermore, the company has even introduced an innovative framework of impairment for their financial assets with an approach that is three staged in nature. The model is inclusive of the 12 month anticipated credit losses, lifetime predicted credit losses (impaired) and lifetime expected credit losses.
The company has even implemented the convention of historical cost, as amended through the assessment of the FVOCI financial assets, financial instruments that are derivative in nature and the contingent considerations. The company is associated with the rounding off the values to the nearest thousand dollars with respect to the Investments Commission’s Instrument 2016/191 and the Australian Securities.
Evaluating the accounting flexibility
The flexibility of accounting can be assessed by taking assistance of the resulting data content. In case of circumstances when the managers have the minimum amount of flexibility is choosing the strategies of accounting and predictions related with their crucial factors for success, the accounting information can be less knowledgeable and enlightening for obtaining knowledge about the economies of the organization. Conversely, these are the selection of the choices, which the company could have chosen from the list of alternatives that was available to them. With respect to Flight Centre Travel Group, it has been noticed that the firm has implemented stern and strict policies of accounting that is in line with the IFRS and the AASB (Rhee and Yang 2015).
The supervisors and the managers of the company does not have the power to implement flexibility in choosing the accounting estimates and policies. The higher level management of Flight Centre Travel Group has constructed the accounting strategies and the associated estimates and it is the duty of the managers to abide by the rules and norms (Van Nostrand, Sivaraman and Pinjari 2013). Therefore, it could be cited that the accounting data of the company is increasingly knowledgeable and the author can obtain an effective understanding of the aggregate economies of the organization.
Assessing the accounting strategy
As expressed by Gupta and Kumar (2013), when the management discovers flexibility within accounting, they could make use of the same in order to interpret the economic condition of the organization or to restrict the practical performance. One of the significant requirements in scrutinising the strategies of accounting of the firm is the capability of the firm to handle with the industrial regulations. An example can be cited, with the scenario that Flight Centre Travel Group has won their appeal with respect to the competition that is associated with the case of law test started against them by ACC associated to the charged infringes of the Trade Practices Act 1974. The ACC has been asked to pay the legal expenses of the firm for the initiation of the case and even for the succeeding appeal. The company was paid a sum of $11,000,000 as a penalty, which has been declared in the financial report of the firm. Furthermore, the administration does not adequate incentive facilities to influence the employees and no transformations have been undertaken in the policies of accounting and the anticipations in the current year.
Assessing the quality of the disclosure
The disclosure or the declaration quality of a firm can be analysed with the help of the amount of declarations, Note 1 of the policies of accounting along with the sustaining performance. The initial note with respect to Flight Centre Travel Group handles with the origin of the construction of the financial reports with respect to IFRS and AASB. The declarations are undertaken in accordance to the financial assets that are associated with impairment and the consolidation principles (Tao and Huang 2014). These principles try to consider the explained synopsis of the joint agreements, transformations in the rate of interest of the ownership, subsidiaries, interpretation of the foreign currency and mutual agreements. In addition, the company has framed the balance sheet statement, changes in the statement of equity, income statement, which has aided in describing their present financial condition and performance in the market of Australia (Duan et al. 2013).
This parameter lucidly explains that the researcher requires examining the several items in a precise manner or obtaining extra data with respect to them. This considers the audit reports that are unqualified, unexplained accounting transformations, unexplained transactions, rise in profits, associated transactions of the parties and unforeseen huge write-offs (Meng et al. 2016). With respect to the auditor of the firm namely Ernst & Young, the company has undertaken write-downs associated to the business, which have not reached the projected anticipations. Conversely, according to the auditor report, no distinct transformations in accounting have been undertaken in the 2016 accounting year and the predictions have matched to the sustaining regulations and the standards in the country. There have not been associated transactions shown in the annual report of Flight Centre Travel Group, which explains that the company has no red flag potentials at the present scenario to continue with their activities in the market of Australia.
Undoing any accounting distortions
As opined by McManus (2013), if there are any detected issues in the step shown above, it is essential for the firm to restrict any distortion in the process of accounting. Conversely, after the evaluation of the steps explained above with respect to Flight Centre Travel Group, it can be described that no crucial distortions in accounting has been noticed in the report of the auditors of Flight Centre Travel Group. The only issue discovered is the writing down that is related with the activities of the business, as it has failed to reach the expectations of the administration of the firm. In this scenario, there are two probable paths of rectifying the specific distortion. This includes passing of journal entries or changing the financial ratios that is based on the information gathered with the help of the financial reports of the company. Conversely, it has to be kept in mind that journal entry passing cannot be undertaken in case of impairment as it would have a undeviating effect over the ratios. In this scenario, Flight Centre Travel Group can make use of any of the two choices that are accessible to them by exploiting the financial report footnotes and the statement of cash flow of the company.
On arriving at the conclusion by analysing the numerous factors and information that has been gathered from the sources of Flight Centre Travel Group the study concludes that the business has been successful in expanding the network of its business. The company has been successful in acclimatizing with the change in the consumer preferences by introducing innovative business methods. This has helped the company to remain competitive in the consumer market by meeting the expectations of the consumer in the economic downturn.
However, due the risk faced by the company the organization is required to transform the patterns of consumer preferences in order to remain competitive in the business. On observing the present trends of performance, it is understood that the company provides a recurring nature of returns in respect of the competitive threats that is faced by the company. The company should implement the innovating business techniques to overcome the major risk faced by the organization.
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