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Lastminute slips into the red

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Dotcom darling Lastminute.com has slipped back into the red after posting its first pre-tax profit last year.

In Q4 2002, the bucket travel outfit made a pre-tax profit of £300,000 making many people giddy with excitement at its achievement.

Today, those high spirits could be dashed on the rocks of despair as lastminute.com reported a pre-tax loss of £3.8m.

Still, looking on the bright side, at least this was less of a loss than the corresponding period last year, when the outfit made a pre-tax loss of £7.2m.

Revenue-wise, turnover for the three months to the end of December more than doubled to £11.3m, up from £4.46m in Q1 2002.

And the value of transactions (holidays and flights sold, that kind of thing) rose strongly from £31.7m in Q1 2002 to £87.1m in Q1 2003.

In a statement chairman Allan Leighton said: "Lastminute.com continues to make progress. Despite the uncertain political and economic environment that Europe is facing, our business model allows us to anticipate 2003 being another year of sustained and improving performance."

By late morning shares in lastminute.com were down 4.75p (5 per cent) at 92p. ®

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