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Ebookers today posted reduced losses for the second quarter, while saying it expected to be cash flow positive by Q2 2001.

The pan-European online travel agency recorded a pre-tax loss of £8.6 million for the three months ended 30 June 2001. This compared to £8.96 million for the same quarter the previous year.

Meanwhile, sales for the quarter more than doubled to £40.1 million from £19.6 million.

For the first half of the year, the dotcom posted sales up 110 per cent to £73.5 million, with pre-tax losses of £17.2 million from £18.5 million.

Ebookers CEO Dinesh Dhamija said the company was on course to become cash flow positive either by the end of its financial year or during the first quarter of next year.

Cash on the balance sheet was £28.9 million on June 30 2001 (compared to £15.1 million at the end of Q2 2000, and £31 million at the end of Q1 2001).

"Despite the second quarter being traditionally the second weakest for travel sales in the UK, ebookers has reported strong top line growth, while continuing to manage to control costs," said Dhamija.

Dhamija also reiterated the company's earlier statement, made last July, that its net investment to grow the business would not exceed £1.5 million per month during the second half of 2001.

The outfit, which operates in 11 countries, had 10.2 million page impressions during Q2, compared to 5.9 million in Q2 of 2000. The number of registered users jumped to 1.2 million from 940,000. ®

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