The UK’s market leading holiday add-ons company, Holiday Extras celebrates 31 years in the business this year and a large part of the success that it enjoys today can be directly contributed to Steve Lawrence – formerly CEO and now deputy chairman.
It’s been 20 years this November since Steve joined Holiday Extras (then called ABC) as marketing director. Back then the business was turning over £4m. Now turnover is some £250m.
2005 was a seminal year, Steve led a management buyout and the business extended in to Germany and diversified into short breaks. Those businesses now contribute some 20% of earnings. More recently Holiday Extras seed funded a start up, miDrive.
Simon Hagger, who is CEO of the shortbreaks arm of the business, said about Steve: “Having worked with Steve for 15 years he is a constant source of drive and innovation to me and all board members at HX – he is dynamic, energetic, super confident and a natural motivator. He loves to have fun and to see the team enjoying their work as well as achieving great things…. Oh, and he LOVES a fancy dress party!”
In October 2007 Steve headed the acquisition of Holiday Extras’ major competitor, BCP. This almost doubled the size of the business. This growth formed the basis of the Holiday Extras Group of companies, of which Steve became Group CEO, with four profit center CEO’s running each of the businesses. The CEO’s performed so well that Steve was able to move into the role of Deputy Chairman in 2014, the objective; double the size of the business again. He also became Chairman of miDrive.
These roles require an objectivity which Steve felt justified a three month sabbatical!
Steve Commented: “The journey has been interesting, fun (most of the time!), hugely down to the team and involving a huge amount of learning.”
”It has been a great pleasure to see the business flourish through the years – we have weathered some tough times and come out on top. We have ridden out the recession, credit crunches – even volcanoes! Credit goes to the wonderful team at Holiday Extras – all of whom are totally committed to making travel easier for our customers. I am looking forward to seeing the business; its suppliers, its customers and the team go from strength to strength”