Flight Centre flags profit growth

Group says most travelers opting to keep bookings with Malaysia Airlines, or other carriers.

Flight Centre expects to increase its full-year 2014 underlying profit as much as 10% and flagged continued growth in the coming year as customers maintain bookings after the crash of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17.

Customers who had cancelled future Malaysia Airlines bookings generally rebooked on other airlines, rather than cancelling their trips outright, the group said.

"The tragic loss of MH17 is likely to have a modest impact on results, as most travelers are currently opting to maintain their bookings with Malaysia Airlines or other carriers," it said.

The group expects underlying profit before tax between $375 million and $377m for the year to June 30 2014, an increase of 9% to 10% from a record set in the previous year. The profit falls within previous company guidance of $370m to $380m. The final result will be reported on August 27.

Flight Centre noted slowing growth in its Australian leisure travel business, corresponding to a fall in consumer confidence around the May federal budget.

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