First Choice optimistic despite first-half losses


Travel firm First Choice has revealed continuing operating losses for its first-half results, blaming a shift in accounting rules for its poor results.

In the six months prior to April 30th pre-tax losses increased from £78.2 million to £66.7 million, but despite this First Choice chief executive, Peter Long, said he was "pleased with our first half performance".

"Having a diverse portfolio of businesses and a flexible business model means that we are not over-reliant on any one single destination or source market," he said.

Mr Long suggested that the future of First Choice lay in focusing on marketplace segments which "demonstrate strong growth characteristics". He believes that the company, which has shifted its business away from package holidays towards more specialised destinations, has promising prospects for the future.

"The outlook for the high season in July and August remains strong and we are confident of the outcome for the full year as we continue to progress towards our five per cent margin target by 2007," he said.

First Choice first-half results are traditionally negative, the company making most of its revenue during the summer months. With bookings for the next few months up on previous years and long-haul revenues having increased by 38 per cent, the company hopes to completely recover from its substantial winter losses by the end of its financial year.

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