Flight Centre lifts profit expectations

Flight Centre Ltd is expecting full-year profit before tax in the higher end of its updated guidance following strong performances by the Australian and United Kingdom arms of the business.

Flight Centre Ltd is expecting full-year profit before tax in the higher end of its updated guidance following strong performances by the Australian and United Kingdom arms of the business.

In a statement to the Australian Securities Exchange, Flight Centre said it was now tipping underlying profit before tax for fiscal 2013 to come in between $338 million and $342 million.

Flight Centre initially forecast an underlying full-year profit of between $305 million and $315 miilion, but in May revised those expectations up to between $325 million and $340 million.

A full-year result of $340 million would represent 17 per cent growth on the $290.4 million recorded in fiscal 2012, Flight Centre managing director Graham Turner said.

"When we upgraded our initial guidance in early May, we reported that our 10 countries were profitable and that several were on track for record results," Mr Turner said.

"This positive momentum continued through the key May-June period, which ensured that all businesses finished the year in profit (EBIT) for the third consecutive year.

"Based on preliminary global trading results for the year, we now expect an underlying PBT towards the top or slightly above our targeted range."

Mr Turner said Australia and the UK remained Flight Centre's major profit drivers, but the emerging Greater China and Singapore businesses were also boosting the group's performance.

"The USA, which is now our second largest country by sales, delivered its third consecutive profit and should finish slightly up on 2011/12, when it contributed $9.9million in EBIT," he said.

"New Zealand, South Africa and India generated solid year-on-year growth, while Canada and Dubai delivered healthy sales growth and were profitable, but bottom-line results were down compared to last year."

To see more about Flight Centre as an investment, see Roger Montomery's Flight Centre's high-flying journey.

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