|January 31, 2008|
American Express Business Travel Global Client Wins Up 55% In 2007
|American Express Business Travel, a global industry leader in business travel management, has reported $6.3 billion in new and renewed contracts for 2007. Renewals contributed to a global retention rate of 98 percent and sales from newly signed clients in its Global Business segment represented an increase of 55 percent compared to 2006. In total, American Express drove $24.6 billion in travel sales during 2007. |
Additionally, American Express Business Travel delivered more than $1 billion in travel and entertainment savings for its North America based middle-market, large-market and multinational clients in 2007. These hard cost savings are calculated through a patent-pending methodology deployed through its Savings Calculator. Strong demand for proven savings and cost control methods factored in the Company's growth this past year and continued global expansion.
New contracts signed in 2007 include revered companies such as L'Oreal in Mexico, Lundbeck, McDonald's, Navigant Consulting Inc, NXP and Tyco International. Additionally, many clients renewed and expanded their contracts, including BASF Corp, EADS, General Motors, The McGraw-Hill Companies, Northrop Grumman, Rockwell Automation and Sun Microsystems, Inc.
"Given current economic conditions and outlook, the solutions that we offer are even more attractive to our customers," said Charles Petruccelli, president of American Express Global Travel Services. "Our ability to demonstrate the savings potential through a differentiated managed travel and entertainment program is the reason clients want to partner with us - our commitment to deliver unparalleled service and deliver on those savings are the reason they stay with us."
"As a global organization, it is important for us to ensure we not only maximize savings through our managed travel program, but also provide exceptional service that aligns with our brand and keeps our road warriors productive and satisfied," said David Harris, SVP, Global Business Services, Sun Microsystems, Inc. "We continue to choose American Express Business Travel not only because of the Company's track record for delivering marked returns on investment through offerings such as its Advisory Services, but also for the Company's ability to offer exemplary service ensuring our employees are provided maximum support. Equally important to us is the ability to have our corporate card program combined with our business travel program."
"We've enjoyed a long and productive relationship with American Express Business Travel," said Bruce Ryno, The McGraw-Hill Companies' Senior Vice President of Global Procurement and Manufacturing Services. "It is important to us to partner with an organization that understands and can respond quickly to the ever-changing needs of our travelers, while consistently delivering services that help us get the most out of our T&E investment. We continue to work with American Express because it meets these needs with a globally scalable program."
American Express Business Travel reported strong growth throughout North America, citing particularly strong growth in the middle-market segment which grew by 25 percent over 2006 in new sales. The Japan, Asia Pacific and Australia region saw a 105 percent increase in new business revenues as compared to 2006, while the European region reported a near 20 percent increase in new sales and more than $1 billion in renewed contracts.
Organic growth of the business along with strategies for acquiring and partnering with local market companies remain key components to American Express Business Travel's global growth strategy. In Hong Kong, the Company bought the remaining equity stake of its joint venture partner in Farrington American Express Travel Services Ltd., a leading Hong Kong travel services provider, bringing the Company close to $1 billion in sales in Greater China. Most recently, American Express Business Travel announced a joint venture with Barcelo Business Travel in Spain, strengthening its presence in that important business travel market.
Contributing to last year's overall growth was the launch of several innovative solutions and service enhancements which increased the savings and control clients could achieve amid rising costs in a strong demand environment. Highlights include:
- Completed global implementation and standardization of servicing technology, customer service processes and measurement
- Nearly 1,000 U.S. clients signed on for the American Express Intelligent Online Marketplace (AXIOM) to support policy enforcement and preferred vendor compliance at the point-of-sale
- AX Hotel Hub, a market leading interface bringing together 120,000 hotel properties around the globe into a unique one-stop-shop and delivering better control of hotel spend with a more efficient way to manage corporate hotel programs both online and offline, launched in Europe
- A new Web-based management information data reporting solution, American Express AXIS @ Work, presents corporate travel purchasers and managers with centralized, online access to data on their firm's business expenditures after its global unveiling in 2007
A Look Ahead
A recent client survey revealed the top priorities companies are focused on in 2008. The top three areas of focus include the environmental impact of a travel program, meetings expense management and globalization.
Providing innovation across the entire value chain to help customers increase efficiency and save on cost will be central to American Express Business Travel's growth strategy in 2008 and beyond. Commencing a new three-year growth strategy, the leadership of the Company is meeting this week for an intense two-day summit to solidify investment plans in new products, services and technologies. These investments will further enable the Company to provide clients with the resources they need to meet industry challenges and take control of opportunities.
Changes to American Express Business Travel Advisory Services were also announced. The consulting arm of the Company will now include a primary focus on change management. Additionally, the consulting practice areas have expanded to include not only air, car and hotel, but also various long tail services including ground transportation, video conferencing and package shipping.
"We continue to look for new ways to raise the bar and enhance the value we deliver to our customers both online and offline," continued Mr. Petruccelli. "This year, we will be exploring new opportunities and innovations that provide the next generation of end-to-end total travel and expense management solutions for our clients, including continued expansion and upgrading of our AXIOM web-based solution, the introduction of a web-based meetings management solution, and more. At the same time, we will amplify our relentless focus on delivering customer service excellence for our clients worldwide."