Announces Third Quarter Results has reported strong performance delivering overall quarterly profit (pre goodwill amortisation)

Results highlights

* Customer conversion rate improved to 32.1% from 20.7% year-on-year

* Total transaction value for the Quarter grew by 147.1% year-on-year to a record £150.9m
(Q3 2002: £61.0m)

* Significant organic growth in the Quarter of 50.2%


* Record forward bookings at 30 June 2003 of £61.1m (Q3 2002: £33.9m)

* Gross profit for the Quarter up 273.7% to £29.5m (Q3 2002: £7.9m)

* Gross margin for the Quarter improves to 19.5% (Q3 2002: 12.9%)

* Group EBITDA profit before exceptional items of £4.1m, up 316.7% year-on-year
(Q3 2002: EBITDA loss £1.9m)

* Profit (before goodwill amortisation, exceptional items and taxation) up 141.2% year-on-year to £1.6m (Q3 2002: loss of £4.0m)

* Operating cash inflow (before exceptional items) of £4.8m for the Quarter (Q3 2002: outflow of £3.2m)


Allan Leighton, Chairman said:
“I am pleased to report that delivered significant positive EBITDA and overall trading profitability in Q3 despite a difficult trading environment still affected by Sars, war and terrorism concerns post the Iraqi conflict.  Summer bookings have started strongly for the key Quarter 4 and we remain confident of a positive outcome for the full year.”

Brent Hoberman
, Chief Executive, added:
“Substantial technology improvements were achieved in Q3 which resulted in an increase in customer conversion rates as the booking experience was further enhanced.  Dynamic packaging was successfully launched in France and we continue to be pleased with its performance in the UK since its launch in November 2002.  Dynamic packaging adds substantially to our overall organic growth rate of 50.2% achieved in the Quarter. “