Minoan cuts losses and seeks further acquisitions

Minoan cuts losses and seeks further acquisitions

Pre-tax losses at expanding Scottish-based travel group Minoan were cut by almost £300,000 last year.

Financial results for the year to October 31 released this morning show losses trimmed to £1.3 million from £1.6 million a year earlier.

Minoan’s travel division delivered a pre-tax profit of £413,000 against £154,000 in the previous period.

The acquisition of the remaining 80% of Stewart Travel Centre and Ski Travel Centre drove gross sales to £37 million for the group’s travel businesses in the year.

By the fourth quarter, sales had reached an annual rate of £45 million. Post-year end acquisitions, Classic Travel and the Golf Concierge brand, will also contribute to the growth of the division in the current year, Minoan said.

“The integration of the different businesses has gone well and we expect that the effect of this on our profitability will become evident in the current year,” it said.

The travel business “continues to examine selective acquisition targets, which we will pursue to the extent that they are expected to be earnings enhancing”.

The company added: “Since the year end, trading in the travel business has been positive both against the prior year and the market as a whole. All acquired businesses are significantly ahead, and at the end of the first quarter of the current financial year total commissions in our travel business were up over 20% year on year and more than £200,000 of additional commission has been earned.”

Minoan reported that 50 self-service travel kiosks had been deployed in Post Offices as part of a deal with the National Federation of Sub Postmasters to offer travel services.

Chairman Christopher Egleton said: "We have made excellent progress over the past 12 months in our strategy of transforming the group into a successful travel and leisure business.

“Our management team's ambition and vision is translating into solid achievement.

“The fast-expanding travel business is performing well, delivering increases in both revenues and profits, and with the recent agency additions now integrated there are firm foundations for further strong growth, both organically and through more acquisitions.”

The group’s plans to develop a major resort in Crete has gained government support despite recent appeals.

“The current conditions in Greece and the continuing liberalisation of planning and privatisation laws augers well for the realisation of the Project and for other opportunities,” said Egleton.

“The outlook for the coming year is very positive and we will seek to capitalise on this year's successes to further enhance the group's performance and move the business forward strongly over the next 12 months."

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