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Lastminute.com says its operations in the UK and France will break even in approximately two quarters.

The company's full year financial results, announced today, shows various belt-tightening measures are paying off in a reduction of cash outflow, while sales have shown strong improvement from the last quarter.

Quarter-on-quarter growth showed its total group turnover climb from £4.4 million to £7 million, while cash burn dropped from £8.56 million to £6.85 million. Total transaction value jumped from £29.29 million to £46.88 million

Looking year-on-year, total transaction value more than tripled to £124 million, from £34 million in 2000. However, its full year pre-tax loss crept up to £39.1 million, which is more than twice its total group turnover of £18.4 million.

CE Brent Hoberman says a deal signed with AOL Europe this week will help it boost its holiday package orders. He plans to follow this through with further deals. He also says its travel business has not been adversely affected by the September 11 attacks, which he attributes to its good deals.

Last month it became the first company to have a tab included on Microsoft's Windows Messenger, which will allow users to receive personalised deals and updates via instant messages. ®

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