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Lastminute.com has made a profit. Let's say that again just in case it didn't sink in. Lastminute.com has made it into the black. It earned more cash than it spent.

Publishing its Q4 results today the online bucket travel and gift outfit reported that it made a pre-tax profit (pre exceptionals) of £302,000 compared to a pre-tax loss of just under £4m during the same period last year.

Turnover for the quarter jumped 80 per cent to £15.16m, up from £8.38m last year.

Registering its first pre-tax profit since the company was formed four years ago chairman Allan Leighton said that the new financial year has "started strongly" and that he was "confident of another year of sustained and improving performance".

Total turnover for the year jumped to £35m in 2002, up from £18.4m in 2001. The company also narrowed its pre-tax loss (pre exceptionals) for the year to £16.17m, down from £39m.

By late morning shares in Lastminute.com were down 5p (4.29 per cent) to 111.5p. ®

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