SKY HIGH RESULTS FOR FLIGHT CENTRE

SKY HIGH RESULTS FOR FLIGHT CENTRE

FLIGHT Centre Limited (FLT) is aiming for 10 per cent profit growth in 2011 after announcing a record net profit today of $139.9 million for FY10.

The result was supported by strong sales in Australia, Canada and New Zealand, while its US businesses returned to profitability in the second half.

CEO Graham Turner (pictured) is confident of continued growth despite rigorous economic conditions.

“While it is extremely difficult to forecast results at this early stage, we will be disappointed if we don’t improve on last year, given the momentum established in 2009/10 in most countries and most businesses,” he says.

“After successfully moving away from tiered supplier contracts in recent years, we have again sought fixed margins in our contracts globally for 2010/11 and have generally achieved our goal.

“Assuming current business conditions don’t significantly deteriorate, we will initially target a pre-tax profit in the order of $220 million to $240 million.”

While international businesses that were once loss-making are now back in the black, Turner is adamant that the Australian market continues to present opportunities.

“It is often asked whether FLT will reach saturation point in Australia, but the reality is this business continues to set new levels of sales and we see ongoing growth opportunities for the foreseeable future – both in travel and in our other sectors and in online channels as well as offline,” he says.

“Expanding our corporate travel market share is an obvious strategy, as is expanding our presence in niche leisure travel segments, which we are successfully doing through brands like Cruiseabout, Student Flights and Intrepid Retail.”

FLT plans to boost its capital expenditure to between $50 million and $55 million this year.

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