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14 May 2004

Travel company trades well on its last minute ethos

Online travel and ticket group, lastminute.com, has reported higher sales for the January to March period, which the group has attributed to a growing number of people leaving it later to make their holiday arrangements.

Total sales in this period were £178.8m, rising £92.2m from 2003’s figure. However, pre-tax losses, before allowing for write-offs, increased18 per cent at £6.55m but overall net cash balance remained strong at £52.5m from a figure in the 2003 period of £42.3m.

The group has predicted a total transaction value of the third quarter of between £250m and £280m.

Commenting on the results, chair, Allan Leighton, said: “I am pleased to report that t he group has continued to experience strong growth during this quarter. Looking further ahead, the indications are that there will be excess capacity in the market as we move towards the key summer quarter and that the demand for late travel will remain strong.”

He continued: “Trading for the month of April has been generally weak across the majority of the travel industry as customers continue the trend towards later booking. Overall, we remain confident of delivering a further year of substantially improved financial metrics in all areas.”


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