FLIGHT CENTRE EXPECTS FULL YEAR PROFIT GROWTH

FLIGHT CENTRE EXPECTS FULL YEAR PROFIT GROWTH

FLIGHT Centre (ASX: FLT) expects its full year profit to lift despite expectations the performance of its Australian operations will be slightly down on last year.

Thanks to the group's international business, Flight Centre's first-half performance is expected to be between $120 million and $135 million before tax which is up by six to 19 per cent on the previous corresponding period.

Flight Centre's expectations for full year profit are also up, and it is forecasting a full-year result between $350 million and $380 million for the 2017/18 financial year.

These numbers are the first guidance handed down by managing director Graham Turner, who said during its full-year results in August that it was too early to make forecasts.

"In Australia, we currently expect first half profit will be slightly down on last year, while we make some important system changes within the business," says Turner at today's Flight Centre Annual General Meeting.

The travel group is also looking to expand its online leisure travel sector, corporate travel management business and in-destination travel experience sector, such as its investment in tour operator Top Deck.

Turner says the group's corporate business in the US and Canada is driving profit for the company in the North American region, whereas the leisure and wholesale travel sectors are proving more challenging.

Flight Centre's operations in North America generated about 10 per cent of the group's overall profit in FY17 and is performing well so far in 2018, according to Turner.

Shares in Flight Centre are trading up by 1.38 per cent to $47.17 at around midday (AEDST).

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