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Lastminute.com reports ‘strong’ trading

Acquires First Option for £12m

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Shares in online travel and leisure outfit, Lastminute.com, are up this morning after the company reported "strong" trading.

In a statement the company said: "Trading in the first quarter, the seasonally weakest quarter, was strong with TTV (Total Transaction Value) by departure basis being ahead of expectations especially in the area of flights. All other financial metrics are broadly in line with expectations taking into account a higher level of TTV."

The trading update coincided with news that the etailer has acquired specialist UK hotel booking agency First Option Hotel Reservations Ltd, for £12.1 million.

The acquisition means that Lastminute.com will be able to flog even more hotel bookings and holidays while increasing the chance to sell extras such as car hire.

First Option - which employs some 200 people, mainly based at its call centre in Stockport and 21 retail outlets in the UK - made a pre-tax profit of £700,000 last year.

Shares in Lastminute.com were up 20p (9.5 per cent) at 230p by late morning. ®

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