Australia's Flight Centre Sees 40% Profit Growth

Australian travel retailer Flight Centre confirmed its full-year pretax profit will jump about 40 percent, in line with its previous forecast, boosted by healthy global sales, and forecast further growth in 2009.


Flight Centre said on Monday it expected to report a profit of around A$212 million (US$206 million) in the year to June 30. It will announce its results on Aug. 26.

In June, it had forecast a 38 percent increase in pretax profit to A$210 million, compared with A$151.6 million the previous year before a one-off gain.

It also reaffirmed its guidance for 10-15 percent profit growth in fiscal 2009, thanks to a strong performance from its established businesses.

Chief Financial Officer Shannon O'Brien said the businesses in South Africa, New Zealand and the UK would drive growth, while in Australia the strong dollar, robust job market and availability of cheap international fares continued to stimulate demand.

He said the restructuring of the recently acquired Liberty Travel business in the U.S. has yet to gain traction, and Liberty is not expected to contribute to profit growth this year.