One of the few companies to survive the dot-com boom of the late 1990s and remain profitable after a massive collapse in share prices when the bubble burst, Lastminute.com is now an undisputed market leader in online travel booking.
However, despite its current lofty position in the industry ahead of close rivals LateRooms, Booking.com and Hotels.com, Lastminute.com failed to post a profit report from its foundation in 1998 until 2005, following an acquisition by American travel group Sabre Holdings who also own the GetThere, IgoUgo and Travelocity brands.
While much of their business is earned through people looking to make holiday bookings for almost immediate departure, Lastminute has diversified in recent years to become much more of a straight-forward travel agent. Their success has seen a rise in competition – Icelolly being one of the most prominent of recent years, though traditional operators like Thomson have also begun to target business through their online portal.
In addition to their core package holiday business, Lastminute.com also run the hire-care service Holiday Autos – and owned specialist accommodation booking portal MedHotels until that particular subsidiary was sold to competitors Thomas Cook in 2009. One of the more recent subsidiaries the company has launched is an Android app, NRU, which uses GPS to track restaurants close to the user.