Ebookers ups revs, narrows losses

'Encouraging' signs

Ebookers reckons that the prospects for the online travel market look "encouraging", following the slow travel market in June caused, in part, because of holidaymakers staying at home and watching the Euro 2004 football championships.

Trading so far in Q3 has improved and is now "in line with our expectations", the company said. It remains upbeat after the long-haul sector also showed signs of continued recoverey.

Revenues hit £17.3m in Q2 compared to £14.9m a year ago while pre-tax loss improved slightly from £6.9m to £6.4m over the same period.

With prospects for future sales looking good, ebookers hopes to cash in on the restructuring from earlier this year as it continues to pull the plug on less profitable parts of its business. This year the company has sold or shut nine shops in the UK and the Netherlands and announced the loss of 270 jobs.

Ebookers also continues to invest in technology as part of its bid to increase efficiency and productivity.

Said chief exec Dinesh Dhamija: "Ebookers is delivering high levels of growth in our core online business and transferring its focus away from less profitable offline channels. At the same time we are increasing investment in online technologies, particularly higher margin non-air products such as hotels, cars and insurance. This investment is creating a strengthened platform for longer term growth."

At lunch, ebookers was up 10p (eight per cent) at 132.5p.

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