Wotif CEO wins $500k cash bonus

Wotif chief executive Robbie Cooke's total remuneration rose by an astronomical $412,567 over the past year as he picked up a $500,000 performance cash bonus for his services.

Wotif chief executive Robbie Cooke's total remuneration rose by an astronomical $412,567 over the past year as he picked up a $500,000 performance cash bonus for his services.

The executive picked up a total of $1.7 million for his work at Wotif in the year to 30 June, making him one of the best-paid dotcom executives in Australia.

Wotif chief information officer Mandy Ross, also won a substantial pay rise, with her total remuneration growing about $76,000 to reach $293,660. A number of other Wotif executives also picked up sizeable pay increases over the past year.

In a statement issued this morning, the company said it had sold 6.33 million room nights over the past year, compared with 4.91 million in 2008. It now acts as a middle man for more than 14,500 hotels and other providers of accommodation and claims to have successfully integrated its travel.com.au and Asia Web Direct acquisitions, which provide relatively similar services.

Wotif's revenues and net profits both rose over the period, up 29 per cent to $121.3 million and 28 per cent to $68.6 million respectively.

The company is planning to relaunch its flights booking platform in the 2009-2010 financial year.

Cooke said the company had been concerned about its business because of the global economic crisis. "We were facing significant headwinds ... Consumer sentiment was deteriorating daily and we were as a community being conditioned for the economic meltdown," he said.

But the expected bad times never eventuated, as consumers took shorter breaks, travelled more domestically and used Wotif.com to pick up bargains. Corporate travellers also used Wotif more.